CALOOCAN City Mayor Oscar “Oca” Malapitan downplayed the filing of graft charges against him by three city councilors before the Office of the Ombudsman over the purchase of Smart tablets that were given away to public school students last year for online learning.
Mayor Oca accused the complainants of using the issue to gain political mileage.
“I have yet to receive a copy of the complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman. The complainants have been using this issue since last year to gain political points with the people of Caloocan. Kumpyansa ako na mababasura ito dahil may mga dokumento na nagpapatunay na compliant at dumaan ang proyektong ito sa tamang proseso. I will answer their claims at the proper forum. I am confident that the Ombudsman will see through their lies,” Mayor Oca said in his statement.
The city chief executive even posted the copy of Invitation to Bid published on national newspaper and Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) entitled “COVID-19 Emergency Procurement – Tablet” with reference number 7173668 to prove that the project has gone through proper process.
In a 12-page complaint, the plaintiffs accused Mayor Oca, City Treasurer Analiza Mendiola, Bids and Awards Committee Chairman Engr. Oliver Fernandez and supplier Annalou Pallarca of alleged anomalous purchase of P320,000,000 worth of smart tablets which do not meet the minimum Technical Specifications provided by the Department of Education.
The complainant also pointed out the alleged lack of bidding process and the chosen brand of tablet have poor quality compared to the much cheaper and better quality tablets.