By Rjhay E. Laurea
MANILA — Quezon City Legal Department head Atty. Orlando Paolo “Niño” Casimiro once again hits back against AnaKalusugan Partylist Representative Mike Defensor saying that the latter’s new expose is another way to advance his political agenda.
“It is quite ironic that Congressman Mike Defensor is now citing a so-called ‘splitting violation’ as a new angle to the failed allegations he made two weeks ago,” Casimiro said.
Defensor disclosed that there was another overpriced QC pandemic food pack distribution amounting P128 million.
Based on documents given by city hall insiders, Defensor said Mayor Joy Belmonte signed a second purchase order (PO) for 250,000 food packs priced at P1,149.98 each, for a total of P287,475,000.
The lawmaker also said that Belmonte “split” the purchases for the same goods for December 2020 food packs.
Defensor is eyeing the QC mayoralty seat going against the incumbent Belmonte.
Casimiro said there was no overpricing that took place in the procurement of food packs as accepted by the Commission on Audit (COA), the prices of grocery items and commodities always increase during December, particularly in the first year of the pandemic when stocks were difficult to obtain.
“Now, the good Congressman is again making the same overpricing claim, but this time with a twist: allegedly, the QC government split the purchases for the same goods,” he said.
“Needless to say, the only ‘split’ happening here appears to be the Congressman’s politically-motivated smear campaign, wherein he is splitting the same issue in order to gain more media mileage and airtime,” Casimiro added.
He explained, there was no splitting that took place, simply because the two transactions were funded from distinct sources. These projects have completely different identified recipients, and even cover different time periods.
“Matagal na po si Cong. Mike sa public service, I’m sure alam naman po niya itong regulasyon na ito,” he said.
Casimiro again highlighted that QC obtained the highest audit score in its history during Mayor Joy Belmonte’s administration and the “undated documents” given by alleged insiders to the lawmaker is a tacit admission that the documents were stolen. (ai/mtvn)