The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has recommended filing criminal and administrative charges against individuals involved after determining that the Department of Education (DepEd) and PS-DBM laptop contract was overvalued by at least Php 979 million.
Sen. Francis Tolentino, the chairman of the blue-ribbon panel, added that the Senate determined the contract supply and delivery of laptop computers for public school teachers in the 2021 project to be overpriced by at least P979 million based on the 197-page committee report.
Tolentino added that he and the two senators from the minority party, Sens. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Risa Hontiveros, were among the 12 senators who signed the committee report.
The committee report recommended charging former DepEd Undersecretary Alain del Pascua, Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla, Former Assistant Secretary Salvador Malana III, Director Abram Y.C. Abanil, Former DBM-PS OIC Executive Director Lloyd Christopher Lao, Former PS-DBM OIC Executive Director Jasonmer Uayan, as well as Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Chairman Ulysses Mora with violating Republic Act No. 3019, or the Mr. Marwan Amil
The previous DepEd “may have unwittingly authorized the new parameters which increased the unit price and decreased the quantity of laptops to be purchased,” according to Tolentino.
“Nagamit po siya (she was used). Sa ebidensya po na lumabas, wala (siyang liability),” Tolentino said during a press conference on Thursday, January 19 at the Senate.
“The mere mention here, is in effect, an admonition on the part of the blue ribbon directed to former secretary Briones,” he said.
The panel further suggested that administrative and disciplinary procedures be taken against the aforementioned senior officials for several counts of egregious misconduct, serious dishonesty, gross negligence of duty, and conduct injurious to the best interests of the service.