Raps filed vs BCDA, OGCC execs over 2019 SEA Games venues

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    ANTI-CORRUPTION watchdog Citizen’s Crime Watch Association Inc. yesterday filed criminal and administrative complaints before the Ombudsman against several officials of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel over alleged irregularities in the P8.5 billion contract to build facilities for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

    Diego Magpantay, CCW president, sought indictments for graft and malversation of public funds against BCDA president Vivencio Dizon, senior vice president for legal Elvira Estanislao, government corporate counsel Elpidio Vega, and MTD Capital Berhad director Isaac David as private respondent.

    He also leveled administrative charges for gross misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service against the BCDA and OGCC officials.

    Magpantay claimed the transaction caused injury to the government because the respondents skirted the rules of procurement that required public bidding by unlawfully inserting the build-transfer scheme into the Joint Venture Agreement.

    It pointed out that under the deal, the sports facilities goes to the BCDA only upon the expiry of the joint venture rather than upon full payment by the BCDA of the contract price of P11 billion consisting of P8.51 billion as MTD’s unencumbered cash advances and another P2.49 billion as “reasonable cost and returns.”

    He noted that the cost and returns provision was only inserted by modifying paragraph 8.2 of the JVA after it was reviewed by the OGCC to “expressly indicate that MTD is entitled to an additional amount of P2.49 billion.”

    He argued that under a JVA, the private corporation was supposed to have no guarantee of profits while such guarantee is extended in a build-transfer scheme.

    “It is thus evident that the agreement by the parties is so far as the development of the sport facilities is concerned, is actually a build-transfer scheme embedded unlawfully in the JVA,” the complainant said.

    Magpantay said Vega had participation in the irregularity because he issued a legal opinion upholding the validity of the JVA which he said was intended to “defraud the government.”