• DPWH Bicol director in hot water

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    THE legal chief of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) Bicol regional office has sought the removal of his colleague, regional director Reynaldo Tagudando, for alleged malfeasance.

    In a letter to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, Oliver Rodulfo denounced Tagudando for the alleged anomalous appointment of officials, bidding processes and project implementation in Region V or the Bicol Region.

    “The abuses and seeming invincibility of Director Tagudando in committing corrupt activities should be immediately stopped and put to an end,” Rodulfo said in his letter to Villar last October 17.

    Rodulfo, who claimed to be a fraternity brother of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Lex Talionis Fraternity of the San Beda College of Law, earlier filed administrative and criminal cases against Tagudando before the Office of the Ombudsman.

    “Director Tagudando has been anointing officials to be promoted/appointed instead of the regular and usual selection process for reasons only known to him,” Rodulfo said.

    He claimed the bidding process in DPWH-Bicol was “rigged and fixed” by employees in the bids and awards committee secretariat and technical working group, with the winning bids always sticking to a 5-percent variance.

    As for the implementation of projects, DPWH-Bicol has been deliberately and arbitrarily granting “unjustified” suspension orders and extensions despite the high percentage of slippages, Rodulfo claimed, citing the Masbate-Cataingan-Placer Road project, among others.

    Moreover, DPWH-Bicol does not penalize contractors by terminating or rescinding contracts and is not strict in charging liquidated damages, with the government “losing a lot of money” as a result, he said.

    Rodulfo urged Villar to order an audit of fees collected by the Quality Assurance and Hydraulic Division of DPWH-Bicol from contractors for material testing, saying “this will … show the magnitude of how much they bleed the government.”

    Contacted by The Manila Times, Tagudando said in a phone interview the allegations against him were baseless.

    “The projects he was referring to were from 2010 to 2014. I was not yet regional director of Bicol at that time,” said Tagudando, who was in Davao at the time of the phone interview.

    Rodulfo’s complaints, he said, began when he filled up a vacant position for Attorney III in the legal department.
    “He is actually harassing me, not only me but there are others,” Tagudando claimed.

    Tagudando said he had filed a disbarment case against Rodulfo before the Supreme Court, adding that a similar case was previously filed by DPWH Catanduanes district engineer Elmer Redrico.

    Tagudando also disclosed that he would file graft charges against Rodulfo, but did not elaborate.
    “His motive in filing a complaint against me is to cover up his own shenanigans,” Tagudando claimed.

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