MMDA chief, 6 others charged over P300M traffic lights

Posted at 10/23/12 4:40 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Atty. Francis Tolentino and 6 other officials of the agency face a civil lawsuit over alleged abuse of authority in a project involving P300 million worth of traffic signal lights.

In a media forum, Abratique Associates and First United Construction Corp. president and chief executive officer Engr. Efren Abratique claimed that Tolentino used his position to influence and declare a failure of bidding in the traffic signal lights project.

Aside from Tolentino, the others who face a civil case are Edenison Fainsan, chairman of the MMDA's Bids and Awards Committee; and members Lydia Domingo; Amante Salvador; Rochelle Macapili-Ona; Noemi Recio; and Special Bids and Awards Committee chairman Emerson Carlos.

Aside from the civil case, Abratique also wants the court to review the bidding process and issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a writ of injuction.

Tolentino, in response, rejected Abratique's allegations.

"Nasa batas iyan, Republic Act 9184," he said. "Gusto nila kasi, i-award sa kanila eh kailangan bidding para 'di disadvantageous to the government."

"Nakalagay yan sa batas that the government reserves the right to reject all bids and accept only bids advantageous to it," he explained.

"Anybody can make accusations especially losing bidders. There is a process for this," he added.

"Nasa court pala, eh doon sila mag-prove. Not a single centavo spent kaya ongoing pa bidding. Gusto nila stop na, bigay na lang sa kanila, which is wrong," he added. - report from Noel Alamar, dzMM