Bid-fixing bared in DepEd project

A BIDDER for a Department of Education (DepEd) project has filed a complaint for harassment from competitors and asked officials to declare a failed bidding.

Engr. Edwin Coquia, proprietor of Coquia Build Systems, wrote to Schools Division Superintendent Alma Ruby Torio thru Dr. Marlita Pasiliao, to report that his secretary, Rommel Carranza, 27, was intercepted by two men riding in tandem on a motorcycle and at gunpoint forcibly seized the backpack containing his company’s bid documents.

A copy of a police blotter on the incident was attached to the letter, copies of which were furnished to Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the DepEd Regional Director, the Legal Counsel of DepEd Region 1, and The Punch Editor-Publisher Ermin Garcia Jr.

Coquia called on the DepEd to investigate the incident to clear public suspicion that it’s officials had a hand in the attempt at rigging the bidding at the expense of legitimate contractors.

Up for bidding was a two-storey, four classroom building at the East Central Integrated School and Federico Ceralde Integrated School.

Coquia reported that Carranza, riding in a motorcycle, was on the way to the Division Office to submit the required bidding documents when the incident happened at 8:40 a.m. at the gate of the East Central Elementary School, just 20 minutes before the actual bidding.

Coquia alleged that the two men who pointed a Cal. 9-mm. pistol on Carranza were most likely hired by rival bidders who have claimed to be “takers of the projects”.

Prior to the incident, Coquia said a meeting was held at Aristogracia Restaurant where there were attempts to fix the bids and not go through the bidding procedure.

Coquia did not identify the persons who attempted to fix the bids but mentioned names of a company and persons who sent him text messages telling him to withdraw his bid and that he would be paid his “share”.

Coquia said he turned down the offer because he was determined to participate in the bidding and was confident that he would win the contract via a fair bidding.—LM

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