The chief of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center has been sued by a security agency for allegedly giving undue advantage to a losing bidder.
Dr. Manuel Factora was sued for violation of the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and other crimes and administrative charges not limited to gross abuse of authority and gross misconduct by Karl Gabaen, owner and general manager of Baguio’s Finest Security Agency (BFSA) in a complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman for Northern Luzon and received by Graft Investigation Officer Joseph Marion Navarrete on May 10.
The complaint alleged that BFSA is the winning bidder for the security service of the hospital as confirmed by Factora himself in a letter informing the agency that “based on the result of the competitive bidding conducted on Dec. 12, 2011 for the procurement of security services as per a Bids and Awards Committee resolution, your proposal was found to be the lowest calculated and responsive bid.”
The same letter mentioned the company has to post the five percent performance security bond 10 days after receipt of the notice of award and failure to do so is a ground for the rescission of the award.
Gabaen said they complied with the required bond and also immediately started hiring personnel for mobilization of the required guard force and support facilities and resources to fulfill its commitment to the hospital.
The company also started to advance the cost of such pre-deployment mobilization not to mention the posting of the bond as they were about to take the post.
Based on the schedule of requirement which is stipulated in the contract, the services of the agency should start March 1 and renewable annually based on the established criteria by BGHMC.
At the height of the preparations to assume duty over the security services required with the duly awarded and perfected contract. The complainant received a letter on Feb. 23 informing them that the mandatory notice to proceed is held in abeyance pending resolution of the protest allegedly filed by the losing bidders. No copy of the protest was however given to BFSA.
Gabaen said they sent a letter to Factora stating the unilateral withdrawal of the perfected contract is illegal, unduly prejudicial, and injurious to BFSA.
Despite receipt of such letter, Factora refused and neglected to respond or act promptly, which he claims is a breach of obligations under the law.
Gabaen added as they were ready to take their post on the date stated in the contract, they again wrote Factora that they are ready to fulfill their obligation to provide security services and will assemble and be presented to BGHMC administration for their inspection.
They did as mentioned in the letter but they were simply told they cannot take over the post.
“In order not to cause any tension, I just formally informed (them) that we are ready to take the post. But to avoid any possible escalation of the situation, I decided to dismiss the guards, go home, and wait for further instruction.”
Another letter was sent to Factora in March 15 inquiring on the status of the protest, but again no response was given.
Gabaen said until now, Factora failed, refused, and simply did not respond to his letters.
Given that and due to the inaction to settle or act on the claimed protest within the period, he continuously caused prejudice to the winning bidder and contract holder, the complainant claim.
Following receipt of the complaint, Joaquin Salazar, the director of the evaluation and investigation office of the Ombudsman for Luzon in July 4 ordered Factora to answer the allegations against him within 10 days from receipt of the affidavit-complaint.
The order added in case of failure to comply to the order within the period stipulated, it would be deemed a waiver and the case will already be resolved without prior notice.