Licuanan linked to anomalous computer deal
PHILIPPINE Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (Paascu) president Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ filed criminal and administrative complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan and the president of a computer group over an alleged anomalous deal with a private company.
The same complaint was lodged against Leo Querubin, president of the Philippine Computer Society (PCS).
Fr. Tabora was assisted by Paascu legal counsel Joseph Noel Estrada.
The complaint is based on a Memorandum of Agreement dated April 21, 2014, where the commission allocated to the PCS P10 million as mobilization fund for the creation of an accrediting body to be known as the PCS-Information Computing Accreditation Board (PICAB).
Paascu claimed that Licuanan and Querubin violated RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act particularly Sec. 3 (E) and (G). The group said Licuanan did not comply with the procurement law.
It also claimed that the PCS is not qualified to render the services provided for under the MOA because it is not an accrediting agency.
Tabora accused Licuanan of deliberately ignoring existing accrediting bodies under the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) when he entered into the agreement which he said was disadvantageous to the government.
He said Licuanan gave PCS unwarranted benefits, advantage and preference and exceeded her and CHED’s powers when she entered into the questioned MOA.
The Times tried to get a clarification from the CHED but officials said they want to look at the complaint before issuing any statement.
The commission said it will wait for the evaluation of the Ombudsman and answer the allegations.
Last June, militant groups filed a criminal case against Licuanan and CHED other officials for allegedly neglecting to handle students’ complaints on tuition increases.
The complainants, which included the National Union of Students of the Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Anakbayan national president Vencer Crisostomo, League of Filipino Students and Rise for Education coordinator Vincent Sudaria, accused Licuanan, commissioners Maria Cynthia Rose Bautista, Minella Alarcon, Alex Brillantes Jr., and Ruperto Sanggalang, Executive Director Julito Vitriolo, CHED NCR Regional Director Leonida Calagui, and former CHED NCR Regional Director Catherine Castañeda of “gross inexcusable incompetence, inefficiency, and negligence” for their failure to act on students’ complaints on time.
“More than two months after the complaints have been filed, CHED has not released a final decision on any of the pending petitions, thus violating its own rules on tuition increases while also committing gross incompetence, gross inefficiency, and gross neglect of duty,” they said.