The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday was asked by a former party-list lawmaker to stop the delivery of reportedly overpriced Austrian firetrucks covered by a questionable P2.8-billion supply contract.
In his petition, former ABAKADA party-list congressman Jonathan de la Cruz asked the High Court to hasten its ruling on the group’s plea for temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) on the release of funds amounting to P3.07 billion for supply contracts entered into by the previous Aquino administration with an Austrian firm, Rosenbauer International Aktiengesellschaft.
Th controversy caused the head of Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno to roll after he was sacked by President Rodrigo Duterte on suspicion of corruption.
“President Duterte perceived and smelled a ‘first whiff’ of graft and corruption in the acts of former [Interior] Secretary Sueno, whom he unceremoniously dismissed… But it appears that nothing in the way will deter, prevent and stop the culpable parties from fleecing moneys from public coffers,” de la Cruz stated in his petition.
“We can now see evil human nature at work when colossal amounts involved in these supply contracts serve as magnetic attractions to people in government to forget their sworn duty to perform their avowed tasks with honesty, probity and integrity,” he pointed out.
De la Cruz, also a journalist, assailed the contract on the procurement of firetrucks by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Interior department “for undermining and jeopardizing the best interests of the Republic of the Philippines, which stands to lose and waste billions of pesos in its coffers.”
He said with the arrival of the first batch of firetrucks this week, the SC must stop the delivery of the firetrucks by issuing a TRO. JOMAR CANLAS