Costly space for ads triggers graft raps (2)

DOTC through undersecretary for Railways Glicerio V. Sica entered a contract on May 27, 2011 with Trackworks for advertising in the EDSA Metro Rail Transit 3’s Buendia, Shaw and Ayala stations.

Complainant Atty. Howard M. Calleja stressed in his complaint that such advertising spaces being “government spaces must be put on bidding for the highest rates.

“Consequently, the spaces, subject of this complaint, are owned by the government and should have been awarded to the highest bidder.

“In the absence of a public bidding, the government was unduly deprived of the opportunity to obtain the best rates for its available space,” Calleja lamented.

“Despite the clear mandate of the law, there is no showing that DOTC, put out an invitation to the public for the bidding of the advertising spaces…The lease of advertising spaces did not go through public bidding of any kind,” the complainant said.

The deal, the complaint added, effectively deprived the government of the best terms for the commercial space from bidders, thereby, putting the government at a grossly disadvantageous position.

“There being no bidding process conducted by DOTC it is crystal clear that undue preference was given to Trackworks for the latter to secure the contract,” Calleja pointed out.

Notwithstanding, the illegality of entering into an agreement between DOTC, another party over the advertising rights within the MRT3 system and the absence of compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 9184, respondent San Jose issued access passes to Trackworks.

“This clearly shows that they approved of and continued the acts began by Sicat, Desiderio and Batuhan,” Calleja noted.

“Beyond doubts, respondents Sicat, Aristotle B. Batuhan, Raquel Desiderio, and Renato San Jose, in conspiracy with Trackworks through respondent De Joya, committed violations of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act  3019 or anti-graft law,” the complainant said.

Section 3 (e) states “causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence…”

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