A pro-administration lawmaker on Monday sought a congressional inquiry into the Department of Transportation’s reported decision to revive the P3.6-billion contract entered by the Aquino administration with the Power Plates Development Concepts Inc. and J. Knieriem BV Power Plates under the Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program.
Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. made the statement as he warned that Transportation officials must be ready to face the wrath of President Rodrigo Duterte and the millions of disgruntled Filipino motorists should the multibillion-peso car plates production deal previously junked for various irregularities would be resurrected.
“This move by DoTr reeks of unpardonable graft, we can smell it right after Secretary Tugade gave the go signal to reevaluate the highly anomalous deal,” said Teves, member of the House Committee on Public Order and Safety.
Teves said he would file a resolution into the DoTr’s decision to reconsider the allegedly anomalous contract.
“I would strongly advise our officials against resurrecting this controversial deal. Instead, they should help gathering evidence to pin down officials behind this mess of Dengvaxia proportions,” Teves said.
Teves said the alleged questionable car plate deal did not absolve President Benigno Aquino III and former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya from possible criminal liabilities as Abaya, among other Transport officials, were facing graft charges for the P3.8 billion worth of license plates during the Aquino administration.
Teves said aside from the company’s alleged clear violation of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Act, the car plate supplier allegedly committed violations of critical provisions of its multi-billion contract, such as sub-contracting resulting to the delivery of sub-standard product output.
“What inspires the DoTr to revive the deal is no longer a mystery if one is to recall the tainted background of the deal,” said Teves.
Citing 2014 annual audit report, Teves said the Commission on Audit issued a notice of disallowance that rejected the P487.9 million advance payment that LTO gave PPI-JKG.
Auditors noted that there were irregularities in the allocation of the agency’s budget for the deal and several contract violations.
He called on CoA to stand firm by its previous findings, particularly on the contract violations of the supplier and that the company should be penalized “for the injury it caused the general public.”