JUST SO YOU KNOW | Drilon was accused of plunder for 'overpriced' Iloilo Convention Center, accuser testifies - The Daily Sentry

Saturday, August 4, 2018

JUST SO YOU KNOW | Drilon was accused of plunder for 'overpriced' Iloilo Convention Center, accuser testifies

Senator Franklin Drilon accused of plunder. Image credit to Inquirer
Senator Drilon was filed with Criminal and administrative chargers before the Office of the Ombudsman on the 29th of October, over the asserted overrated P679.8-million Iloilo Convention Center. Named co-respondents are authorities of the Department of Public Works and Highways driven by Secretary Rogelio Singson, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr, and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) chief Mark Lapid.

The task is being done with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Tourism. It was halfway subsidized under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), where certain official demonstrations had been considered unlawful by the Supreme Court, Said to be a pet undertaking of Drilon.
Manuel Mejorada.  Image credit to GMA News
Manuel Mejorada blamed Drilon for being criminally obligated for plunder, malversation of open assets, graft, and infringement of the Government Procurement Reform Act; and officially at risk for deceitfulness and grave wrongdoing, this is according to an 18-page complaint-affidavit.

Drilon had before filed criticism charges against Mejorada, an Iloilo-based writer and previous commonplace chairman, for his segments and blog entries on affirmed abnormalities in the congressperson's undertakings in the territory. Meanwhile, Mejorada charged that the tradition focus is overrated by P487.85 million in view of industry norms, which the objection secured to be at P30, 000 per square meter.

The complaint read as, "Drilon must be held accountable for the loss of P488 million from the coffers of the Government. He is presumed to have harvested the fruits of the anomalous expenditures way above what can be considered reasonable for the construction of the project.”
Iloilo Convention Center. Image credit to Iloilo Metropolitan Times
Iloilo Convention Center. Image credit to Scoopnest.com
Mejorada referred to the development expenses of the SM Mall of Asia Convention Center, which was worked at a cost of P26,400 per square meter or 4 times more than the P106,226 per square meter cost of the Iloilo structure, this is to attest his point. Mejorado contrasted the tradition focus with the 12-story, 5-star Richmonde Hotel of Megaworld just crosswise over it, manufactured just at a cost of P500 million.

Mejorada asserted that "From step one until the present stage of project implementation, it is apparent that his objective was to bloat the costs of the project despite his personal knowledge that it could be prosecuted for a much lesser cost.”

Undersecretary Jaime Pacanan, Undersecretary Romeo Momo, Regional Director Edilberto Tayao, and Bids and Awards Committee Chairperson Marilyn Celiz are the other co-respondents in the criminal and authoritative charges are the accompanying DPWH authorities.

Respondents in the administrative charges were named as Private temporary workers W.V. Coscoluella and Associates and Hilmarc's Construction Corporation, spoken to by their leaders William Coscolluela and Engineer Efren Canlas separately. The contractual worker of the questionable Makati City Hall Building 2 is the Hilmarc’s, the subject of a continuous Senate test.

"Merely carried out" Drilon's every wish and command”,  Mejorada affirmed that Drilon’s co-blamed.

According to his complaint, "as proponent of the project, respondent Drilon had the moral authority over the officials of the agencies involved in the project."
PNoy, Drilon inspect new Iloilo Convention Center. Image credit to Philippine Star
PNoy, Drilon inspect new Iloilo Convention Center. Image credit to the Senate of the Philippines
Drilon, a firm of the presiding Liberal Party (LP), had prior said that in 2015, the Iloilo Convention Center was worked for the Philippine facilitating of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Mejorada kept up that he has no grievance against Drilon, In July 2011 he said "separated" ties with him, after he composed a story involving the senator in a supposedly overrated horticultural land the administration had acquired as a movement site.

He said he was not prodded by Drilon's political enemies to record the grumbling and that his close friends settled his costs in documenting the objection before the Ombudsman. Public officials including previous Iloilo Rep Augusto Syjuco Jr and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was filed a case of graft, Mejorada referred.

Mejorada's fourth join grievance against Drilon, who blamed him for harboring hatred against him for sacking him and not yielding to his solicitations for an administration position.

According to the Senate President, “There is no overpriced. The ICC costs P63, 893.11 per sqm, not P106,226 per sqm which he claims. The building is 28-meters high and designed without any columns but with long span beams and glass curtain walls.”

Drilon countered that the building will be finished by March 2015 at a cost of P700 Million. He said that in light of Mejorada's claim that the undertaking is overrated by P488 Million, the assumed cost is just P212 million for a 11,693.79-square meter (sqm) tradition focus.

"If you do the math using his assertions, the ICC will then have to be built at a cost of P18, 129.28 per sqm, which is an impossibly low amount for a modern structure that aims to draw local and international guests for large-scale conventions and other important events,” he said.


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Source: Rappler