• Sta. Elena Construction should be investigated


    Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile on Tuesday said it is okay for him if the Department of Justice (DOJ) will investigate the Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corp. which is said to be associated with the senator’s former chief of staff Gigi Reyes.

    Enrile was reacting to Sen. Miriam Santiago’s allegations that the company has connections with the lawmaker from Cagayan province and that it has cornered more than P5 billion worth of projects in Port Irene in the Cagayan Export Processing Zone.

    Enrile said the firm won the contract to build a breakwater that can withstand waves of up to 50 meters through “fair and legitimate bidding.”

    However, the senator may not know it but the construction firm, headed by Alice G. Eduardo, has a derogatory or “negative slippage” report pending before the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PICAB).

    The negative report is being investigated by the agency after a local government unit filed a complaint against Sta. Elena which was tapped by the same LGU to do a project worth millions a few years ago.

    Sources at PICAB however refused to elaborate on the nature of the complaint but explained that “negative slippage” reports usually involve the use of substandard materials, poor quality of work, and non-completion of a project or all of the above by the constructor.

    The PICAB official, who asked not to be identified, was surprised that Sta. Elena was still allowed by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of CEZA to join the bidding when it has a “negative slippage” or derogatory report.

    The same official explained that once a construction firm has a slippage or negative report from its past government projects, it has to be disqualified right away from any government biddings.

    Unfortunately, aside from the CEZA project, Sta. Elena Construction also won another government contract, the building of Pagcor’s Entertainment City in Pasay which is worth several billions of pesos.

    So, is Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corp. a favored company? Your guess is as good as mine.

    * * *

    Nothing wrong with Binay winning a condo
    I am not a fan or a supporter of the Binay family but I don’t really see anything wrong with Makati Rep. Abigail Binay-Campos winning that condominium unit from a raffle draw of a mall in Makati.

    Several netizens reacted negatively and asked if she is allowed to join such contests or entitled to be a recipient of a prize from raffle draws upon learning that the lawmaker was the winner of a P5 million condo unit in Pasig.

    However, Civil Service Commission (CSC) chairman Francisco Duque 3rd clarified that there is no law preventing appointed or elected officials from joining raffles provided that these are allowed by the government through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

    Duque said because of the absence of a law banning officials from raffles, there is no irregularity or any semblance of violation of moral or ethical standards if public officials join such contests.

    Observers believe this recent brouhaha is all about politics. After all, the lawmaker won her prize fair and square.

    So, to all those who are grumbling . . . “mamatay kayo sa inggit”!!!



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