Defensor files charges against PSALM,

ILOILO – Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has filed charges against the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) and Kuan Yu Global Technologies Inc. at the Office of the Ombudsman in Manila on Monday.

The complaints filed were for gross negligence and grave misconduct and for violation of Section 3(E) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Corrupt and Practices Act in relation to Republic Act 9184 or the procurement law.

Named as respondents were PSALM President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Ledesma, Jr., its Bids and Awards Committee Chairperson  Manuel Marcos Villalon II, Vice Chairperson Beatriz Irina Denise Alazas, members Luisito Samsin  and Edwin Cornelius Laus,  Kuan Yu President Karl Ignatius Young, and its Oil Spill Clean-up and Recovery Team Officer-in-Charge Valentino Menpin.

In his complaint-affidavit, the governor alleged that Kuan Yu was not “legally, technically and financially capable” to perform the clean-up and containment of the oil spill in Estancia town as provided in Section 53 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9184.

The oil spill in Estancia came from the damaged Power Barge 103 owned by PSALM. The disaster was among the effects of Super Typhoon Yolanda when it wreaked havoc in the province on November 8, 2013.

PSALM called for procurement to undertake the salvaging, refloating, and clean-up relating to the grounding of the said Power Barge through a negotiated bidding under emergency cases on November 20, 2013 and Kuan Yu won the P94.9-million contract.

As evidence of its apparent lack of financial capability, the governor cited that the paid-up capital of Kuan Yu was only P62,500 and its subscribed capital stock was only P250,000 based on its amended articles of incorporation.

“As clearly shown by these documents, Kuan Yu did not have the financial capability to undertake and comply with the requirements of nearly a hundred million peso project. There is likewise no showing of sufficient financial capability of Kuan Yu that was determined in accordance with the latest income and business tax return prior to the signing of the contract …,” Defensor wrote.

The governor also said that the contractor’s representative admitted during the Congressional hearing of the Committee on Energy in Iloilo City on October 7, 2014 that it has no experience of doing the contracted oil clean-up as a corporation.

“This is a manifestation of gross negligence and evident bad faith on the part of PSALM as well as its conspiracy with Kuan Yu in awarding the contract to the latter because it is a requirement in RA 9184 that the procuring entity like PSALM should require a list of ongoing and completed projects which documents are the basis of determining their financial and technical capability in accordance with Section 23.1(a)(iii)…,” he stressed.

Moreover, the procuring entity failed to impose minimum requirements of manpower and equipment where were necessary in the implementation of the contracted oil spill clean-up.

Defensor lamented that PSALM created undue injury to the Province of Iloilo and gave Kuan Yu “unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference” by awarding the contract to the latter without post-qualification.

Until now, the clean-up and containment of oil spill in Estancia is not 100 percent forcing the province to continually incur expenses in its effort to minimize the ill-effects of the oil spill in the environment and to the people.

PSALM, on the other hand, has paid Kuan Yu 90 percent of the contract price leaving only 10 percent of the contracted amount unpaid because the local government officials in the affected areas refused to sign the certificate of completion.

Meanwhile, Provincial Legal Officer Dennis Ventillacion said they hoped the Ombudsman to act immediately on their complaints.

“We were supposed to sue PSALM and Kuan Yu early this year but we faced snag in building the case since the needed documents from the procuring entity were not given to us on time,” Ventillacion explained when asked what took the province so long to file the charges.

Aside from the governor, the Provincial Legal Office also submitted the complaint-affidavits of Dr. Jessie Glen Alonsabe of the Department of Health Region 6, Commodore Athelo Ybañes of the Philippine Coast Guard Region 6 and Dr. Resurreccion Sadaba, the province’s oil spill consultant, to support the charges.  #2014News


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