Davide said he will comment on the issue once he receives a copy of a formal complaint against him.
Davide faces raps over “illegal” lease contract
Lorraine Ecarma (The Freeman) - August 1, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Vice Governor Hilario Davide III is facing possible charges for an alleged illegal contract the province entered into with a property development firm during his time as governor.

The contract was discovered during an audit Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has ordered on transactions during Davide’s administration.

In this case, the provincial government reportedly entered into a six-year lease contract with the property development firm in April 2014 without bidding.

It leased out 849 square meters of Lot No. 929-B to the firm at P50 per square meter or P42,450 a month, an amount that the current administration believes is way too low for a property that is located at a prime area.

Lot No. 929-B is located in front of the Cebu IT Park.

“It seems nga ubos ra kaayo ang presyo… when we looked into the documents, wala moagi og procurement process. There was no bidding (The price was too low… when we looked into the documents, we found out that it did not undergo a procurement process. There was no bidding),” said Atty. Marno Matrinquilla, Capitol’s consultant on legal management.

Martinquilla said the contract was entered into allegedly without authority from the Provincial Board and, based on a report from Board Secretary Pulchra Marie Acevedo, it was executed without the Board ratifying it.

“We have also found out that in entering the contract of lease, Governor Davide was not authorized by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to enter into the contract of lease and to sign,” Martinquilla said.

Davide said he will comment on the issue once he receives a copy of a formal complaint against him.

Aside from the lease issue, the provincial government also questioned the showroom the firm built on the provincial lot because it was built in May 2017 or less than three years until the contract expires.

The firm reportedly failed to give the province an explanation.

Matrinquilla said Garcia has already sent a letter to the firm’s development officer to inform the company that Capitol is terminating the contract of lease.

Provincial Legal officer Donato Villa, Jr. also sent a separate letter to the firm, ordering it to vacate the property within seven days upon receipt of the letter.

“Otherwise, kung dili sila mo-vacate, we would be forced to take the appropriate legal remedies available to the province in order to protect the interests of the province,” Martinquilla said.

The firm’s development officer reportedly replied to Garcia’s letter and told the governor it entered into the contract in good faith, and that it was unaware of the alleged irregularities in the process.

The province continues with its inventory of all properties sold and donated during the previous administration. (FREEMAN)

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