Coronavirus testing czar Vince Dizon as Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and chief executive is facing graft complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the construction of sports facilities for the Southeast Asian Games in 2019.
The Citizens Crime Watch Association, represented by its president Diego Magpantay, sued Dizon, along with Government Corporate Counsel Elpidio Vega, BCDA Senior Vice President for Legal Services Group Elvira Estanislao and Isaac David, director of the Malaysian firm MTD Capital Berhad.
The complaint involved the construction of the P11-billion New Clark sports hub in Capas, Tarlac, which was also a quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients.
The BCDA and the Malaysian company had partnered in a joint-venture agreement to build New Clark after the latter’s submission of an unsolicited proposal to build the facility for P8.5 billion.
While the BCDA provided the project site, the construction was awarded to MTD Capital Berhad.
According to Magpantay, under the contract the BCDA would repay MTD Capital Berhad through a five-year annual installment scheme worth P2.2 billion.
By the end of five years, the BCDA would have paid P11.1 billion to the firm.
A surplus of P2.5 billion was tagged in the contract as “reasonable cost and return.”
The complainant said should the project be a joint venture, “the private corporation is not guaranteed to earn profits.”
The New Clark project was awarded to MTD Capital Berhad through a Swiss challenge, a form of public procurement, wherein a government invites bids for a public project, and then publishes the bid, before inviting competing counter proposals to either match or improve the initial proposal.
“BCDA not only reimbursed MTD the full amount of P8.5 billion, it also gave MTD an additional P2.490 billion resulting in MTD’s double profit. By giving MTD a 50 percent share of the profits, MTD would effectively receive profit for the third time. This is too much,” the complaint read.
It accused BCDA and the OGCC of giving the construction firm the unwarranted benefits to the disadvantage of the government, citing the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Magpantay said the Commission on Audit, in its 2019 audit report, called the attention of the BCDA for entering into the contract without prior appropriation.