Monday, 12 August 2013 13:40
LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… They have sunk deep into corruption, as in the days of Gibeah. God will remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins…” (Hosea 9:9, the Holy Bible).
PAPER PLATE NUMBERS AT LTO: Did you see how new vehicles nationwide are now sporting a new kind of a plate number? Well, the plate numbers are not actually the usual plate numbers that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) gives out once the vehicles are officially registered. The “new plate numbers” are mere coupon bond sheets which contain the control number of the vehicles, given to them after they are released by their dealers.
Why is this happening? Why is the LTO not giving out the usual plate numbers anymore? I was told this is due to the fact that the LTO has run out of the usual plate numbers, and that, even up to now, it has not awarded the contract for the making of those plate numbers to a Dutch company, J. Knieriem B.V. Goes (JKG), despite the fact that JKG had been declared as the winning bidder.
Why is this so? Well, the losing bidder, Marianing & Sons Development Corp., is still contesting the award in favor of JKG, saying that the Bids and Awards Committee of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) rigged the bidding process to favor JKG. When we consider that this contract is priced at about P4 billion in all, Marianing’s charge against the DOTC, LTO and JKG is certainly no peanuts at all.
EXPLANATIONS DUE FROM DOTC BAC: I am sure that the Bids and Awards Committee, chaired by lawyer Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, can answer Marianing’s charges satisfactorily. But then, the committee has to contend with the frenzied efforts of Marianing to discredit the bidding process that gave the award for the plate number-making contract to JKG.
At the rate that Marianing is bombarding the media with press releases discrediting JKG and the process by which it was awarded the contract, it wouldn’t be long before the public, and even President Aquino and DOTC Secretary Emilio Abaya, will start thinking, rightly or wrongly, that graft attended the bidding in favor of JKG.
The Bids and Awards Committee owes it not only to itself to publicly explain what it did in awarding the contract for the plate numbers to JKG notwithstanding the flaws being cited by Marianing, but also to the Filipino people in general. And explain it must, as soon as possible, lest its silence will be interpreted to mean that corruption really reared its ugly head, in a manner of speaking, in the bidding process.
SCOURGE OF CORRUPTION AND DEATH: Corruption is a scourge that must be avoided, says the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 1 of the Bible. Let us read this passage once more: “Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him…
“… Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers… Your rulers are rebels, partners with thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them…
“Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: `Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes and avenge myself on my enemies. I will turn my hand against you… rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the Lord will perish… if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword’...”
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By Atty. Batas Mauricio
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