Erap faces graft rap over market demolition
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - August 12, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Vendors, tenants and small business owners displaced by last month’s demolition of stalls at Quinta Market in Quiapo, Manila filed graft charges against Mayor Joseph Estrada with the Office of the Ombudsman.

The complaint, lodged on Monday by a group calling itself the D’ Manila Federation of Public Market Vendors Association Inc., also accused Estrada of violating procurement laws by awarding a redevelopment contract to a private firm without conducting a public bidding.

Members of the joint venture selection committee including the secretary to the mayor, city legal officer, city treasurer, city planning and development officer, the city engineer, two councilors, and members of the board of Marketlife Management and Leasing Corp. (MMLC) were also named respondents.

The complainants, led by association president Juliet Peredo, said their displacement shows the “utter disregard of the Estrada administration to the plight of those who have less in life under the pretext of modernizing markets.”

The complainants said Estrada entered into a joint venture agreement with MMLC for the redevelopment, operation and management of the Quinta Market even though the private firm “has no track record much less adequate record, of experience in the concerned industry, and does not have the ability and financial base to undertake the project.”

Allegedly, the private firm was incorporated only on Nov. 11, 2014 but submitted its proposal in September 2014. The proposal was approved in October 2014.

The complainants said the MMLC has a paid-up capital of only P3.125 million yet it is being tapped for a project that is estimated to cost P250 million.

ACIRC CITY COMPLAINANTS ESTRADA FIRM JULIET PEREDO MANILA FEDERATION OF PUBLIC MARKET VENDORS ASSOCIATION INC MARKETLIFE MANAGEMENT AND LEASING CORP MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN QUINTA MARKET
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