Gov confirms payment for CICC additional works

Posted on December 16, 2012

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Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia confirmed that P215 million was paid to the contractor for the additional works on the Cebu International Convention Center in 2009.

In a press conference yesterday, the governor said the Capitol paid WT Construction after it had won a lawsuit against the Province of Cebu for its money claim.

She insisted that the work was properly covered by a contract after a public bidding.

Last week, Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol said the Capitol should not pay the amount to WT Construction if there was no appropriation for the release of the money.

Otherwise, he said, technical malversation charges can be filed against those involved in the payment.

The Ombudsman-Visayas forwarded to its central office in Manila the CICC case file to start a formal criminal and administrative investigation.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales , in a July 31, 2012 marginal note, approved the final evaluation report of Visayas graft investigators, who recommended charges against Garcia and other Capitol officials for allowing WT Construction Inc. to do additional work ‘without a contract, the approved appropriation ordinance and certification as to the availability of funds”.

Apostol showed reporters on Friday the case file and complaint with the note labeled “Priority” addressed to the Preliminary Investigation, Administrative Adjudication and Review Bureau (PARB) in Manila.

Governor Garcia said she believes the charges were being pursued to fast-track her suspension and allow Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale to assume as acting governor.

She questioned the Ombudsman’s decision to pursue graft charges against her and the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) over the CICC project.

“Naa moy nailhan nga kinsa ang mopuli? Si Ms. Mopuli. As mopuli nga governor… As Governor Magpuli (You know who will be the replacement? Ms. Mopuli. As the acting governor. As Gov. Magpuli),” Garcia said in reference to Magpale.

Asked what are her options, the governor and her daughter, Capitol consultant Christina Codilla-Frasco, said they “will cross the bridge when we get there”.

“We will resort to all legal remedies available,” the governor told reporters.

Frasco said they filed a motion for clarification with the Ombudsman-Manila to clarify what Tanodbayan Conchita Carpio-Morales approved. She said they received their copy of the papers last Dec. 13. /Carmel Loise Matus, Correspondent with Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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