Cebu Gov. Hilario P. Davide III. — THE FREEMAN

A COMPLAINT has been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III and 11 others over the alleged questionable awarding of contract for a new 20-storey building at the Capitol complex. The complaint was filed by Crisologo Saavedra Jr., who described himself as an anti-corruption advocate. Mr. Saavedra alleged that Mr. Davide, the Bids and Awards Committee, and the Technical Working Group favored WT Construction and awarded the P1.3 billion project to the firm despite its failure to submit certain bidding requirements. The complainant asked the Ombudsman to investigate and charge the respondents in court and to declare the bidding null and void. Earlier this month, Mr. Saavedra also filed an anti-graft case against Cebu City officials over the P18-billion Kawit development project, citing that the proponent, the Gokongwei-led Universal Hotels and Resorts, Inc. (UHRI), is not qualified to enter into a joint venture with the city government for lack of technical and financial capabilities.
Meanwhile, the Cebu provincial board has approved an ordinance authorizing the provincial government to take a bank loan of P1.525 billion for the building. Nine board members, the minimum required for an approval, supported the ordinance. — The Freeman