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Ebdane assures legal help to DPWH officials in Cebu lamppost mess

April 21, 2008 6:50pm

Tags: Cebu City
MANILA, Philippines - Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr on Monday said the department’s legal panel will look into the Ombudsman’s order to dismiss DPWH provincial officials in Cebu in connection with the lamppost controversy.

Ebdane said he will make sure that all legal means will be accorded to former DPWH Cebu Regional Director Roberto Lala and eight other DPWH officials who will be slapped with graft charges for allegedly allowing the overpricing of 880 designer lampposts commissioned for the 12th Asean Summit in Cebu in January last year.

The DPWH chief, however, admitted that they are yet to receive the Ombudsman’s order.

“Once we receive a copy of the decision, we will ask our legal officer to look into it. We can also request for reconsideration, if I am not mistaken,” Ebdane said.

Lala, for his part, denied the accusation. He, however, refused to comment further.

“We’ll just rely on prayer at this point because we are really innocent,” he said.

Aside from the DPWH officials, two city mayors in Cebu province were also ordered dismissed from their post.

The Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas investigated the supposed anomaly in the project following complaints that the lampposts were overpriced by as much as 2,000 percent.

After an investigation conducted by the fact-finding team, it was found that "the subject lighting facilities, as acquired and/or paid for by the government, were highly overpriced."

The fact-finding team arrived at the conclusion after comparing the costs of the lampposts as indicated in the Programs of Work and Detailed Estimates prepared by Mandaue City and as reflected in the importation documents.

The two construction firms, Fabmik Construction and Equipment Co. (FCEC) and Gampik Construction and Development Inc. (GCDI) have both maintained that the contracts for the lighting system “were above board, fully conformed to bidding requirements and were consistent with electric industry standards.” - GMANews.TV
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Tags: Cebu City