FORMER Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has called on the government to include what he called “anomalous bidding” on the construction of the Kaliwa Dam in its review of so-called “onerous” contracts between the government and private companies.
Carpio called the Kaliwa Dam project as the “mother of onerous contracts,” citing a Commission on Audit observation memorandum on the Kaliwa Dam bidding.
“In summary, it can be deduced that the two bidders/contractors were included merely to comply with the ‘at least three bidders’ requirement as stated under the Procurement Law.
Likewise, the procurement of the project is with the semblance of a competitive bidding when in reality, it is a negotiated contract from the inception of the bidding process,” the memo said.
In the Kaliwa Dam bidding, China submitted three Chinese contractors, namely, the Consortium of Guangdong Foreign Construction Company and Yuantian Engineering Company (Consortium), Power Construction Corporation of China and China Energy Engineering Corporation. The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, which conducted the bidding, limited the auction to the three Chinese contractors.
The first bidder, the Consortium, was disqualified because it did not submit the required documents, despite the clear instruction to bidders that failure to submit the required documents would result in disqualification. One of the two members of the Consortium is a state-owned company of China, while the other, whose ownership is not clear, has undertaken many projects for the Chinese government.
“In short, the COA saw the ‘reality’ – that the bidding was a sham. The Communist Party of China, which controls the three bidders, already chose from the very start CEEC as the winning bidder and instructed the other two bidders to simply disqualify themselves. The bidding was ‘lutong macau,’” Carpio said.
Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares, quoting the COA, cited an alleged intentional non-compliance to the qualification requirements, which resulted to China Energy Engineering Corp. Limited being awarded the bid.
The procurement protocol for the China-funded infrastructure project apparently initiated the false bidding of the Kaliwa Dam project, which is overpriced because of the absence of a fair public bidding.
Carpio called on President Duterte to include in his review the Kaliwa Dam procurement protocol to protect the interest of Filipinos because the transaction as characterized under the Anti-Graft Law was “manifestly and grossly disadvantageous” to the government, and most especially the Filipino people.