Bistek, 2 others face graft raps at Ombudsman


    THE City Legal Department of Quezon City yesterday filed a criminal complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against former city mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista, former city administrator Aldrin Cuña, and former city engineer Joselito Cabungcal over an alleged anomalous project.

    City legal officer Carlo Lopez Austria, who signed the complaint on behalf of the city government, asked the Ombudsman to review the P27.62 million contract for the “supply and installation of solar power system and waterproofing works for Civic Building F.”

    The contract was awarded on June 14, 2019 in favor of Cygnet Energy and Power Asia Inc.

    An obligation request dated June 20, 2019 was issued by Cabungcal, followed by an acceptance and inspection report issued on June 25, 2019.

    On June 27, 2019, the complainant said Cygnet was paid the sum of P25.34 million less all applicable taxes and charges.

    The city government noted that in the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the contract, the supplier/contractor undertook to “apply and secure the Net Metering from Meralco” while the city architect will provide the necessary plans. This was not done.

    Likewise, the basis for payment under the same TOR stated only 50 percent of the contract cost would be paid “upon completion of onsite delivery and installation” and the balance “upon testing, commissioning, and technology transfer.”

    Without the Net Metering System, the city said half of the contract cost should have been withheld pending full compliance by the contractor of its obligations.

    It further noted that Bautista could not have validly entered into the said contract with Cygnet since he failed to secure prior authorization from the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

    “Upon inquiry by the City’s Internal Audit Service, the Office of the Secretary of the Sangguniang Panlungsod …stated that there were no legislative measures or records in relation to the Project,” the complainant said.

    “It is clear from the foregoing that the respondents, in conspiracy with one another, violated the law when they acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith, and gross inexcusable negligence,” it added.