Winner in P487-M NAIA project cries foul, seeks probe of bidding

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    ANGELES CITY- A contractor who won in the bidding for the P487-million CCTV surveillance camera project at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has appealed for help from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) after it was “post-disqualified” from the project.

    In her appeal letter to retired Maj. Gen. Vicente Guerzon, chair of the bids and awards committee of MIAA, winning bidder Rea Lactao, president and general manager of Annex Digital, Inc., said “we are dismayed, nay appalled, on how we were post-disqualified despite us being the winning bidder for the designing, simplifying, installing and commissioning of CCTV cameras (for) surveillance at the NAIA.”

    Lactao, in her letter, identified a MIAA consultant who reportedly receives P23,000 monthly honorarium, as having “swayed” the bids and awards committee to declare a failure of bidding, apparently to create room for a favored bidder who lost.

    She demanded a probe of the consultant and his alleged cohorts in the MIAA in the manipulation of the bidding process. The letter said the consultant was even irregularly allowed to do the technical evaluation of the P487-million project despite his status as non-organic personnel with mere advisory functions.

    Lactao said that in 2013, MIAA sent the consultant to Israel for training on the CCTV project and that “after the training, he was hired by Turqal Company of Israel as consultant.” “We believe he could still be working with said company,” she said in her letter of appeal.

    She also noted that the same consultant had imposed during the project bidding a requirement for “a specific Israeli brand of camera and other equipment whose distributor refuses to sell to others.”

    “The modified terms of reference were derived or copied from a particular brand of camera, Ex-Sight, an Israeli company and video content analytics with specific patent numbers pertaining to related software of another Israeli company and partner in Korea,” she noted.

    She also said the consultant had manipulated a document tracking system that prevented prospective bidders from downloading Annexes E and F of the terms of reference as “a desperate move” to favor his bidder. “Our company did its best by painstakingly complying with the same. Out of about 35 participants, only two, which includes our company, qualified.

    The other bidder was post-disqualified. With Annex Digital, Inc. as winning bidder, the contract must now be awarded to it. Disqualification of our company at this point is unfair to us as all our documents have been exposed,” Lactao noted.

    She said that the intervention of the consultant could only delay the installation of the needed CCTV surveillance camera system whose lack embarrassed MIAA when Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur Mayor Ukol Talumpa, his wife and two others were killed while at the arrival area of the airport on December 20, 2013, without any camera catching the incident.

    She warned that the consultant and his cohorts are “exposing themselves to criminal indictment for violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices.” “The injustice committed against our company, the lone winning bidder, must be rectified. Addressing the present issue will even solve burning security concerns on the capability of the airport in detecting terrorist attacks,” Lactao said in her latter.

    She stressed that “investigation is likewise sought to uncover all other persons” involved in the bidding anomaly.

    Lactao said she also forwarded copies of her latter to Transportation and Communications Sec. Joseph Emilia Abaya and MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado. 

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