Previous admin “overpriced” sardines: Casas accuses Tomas of corruption
CEBU, Philippines — Former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña lacks the moral ascendancy to accuse Mayor Edgardo Labella’s administration of committing graft and corruption because of alleged overpriced procurement of relief goods, says city administrator Floro Casas Jr.
Casas presented a copy of the purchase order during Osmeña’s administration showing that a can of sardines was bought from a supplier in Carbon Market at P27.
“If the former mayor, Tomas Osmeña, mo-accuse siya namo na corrupt mi kay P22 ang amoang sardinas karon, mas samot siyang corrupt kay P27 ang iyahang sardinas. He’s asking us to explain. Unsaon man niya pag-explain ang iyahang P27?” said Casas.
(If the former mayor, Tomas Osmeña, accused us of corruption because our sardines is P22 apiece, he is more corrupt because his sardines was P27 per can…how will he explain his P27?)
Osmeña, in a statement relayed to the media Thursday, accused Labella of buying overpriced sardines at P22 apiece when it could have been bought at P13.50 the cheapest.
The former mayor cited a March 25, 2020 purchase order issued by the city government requesting La Nueva Supermart Inc. to provide various relief goods intended for city residents affected by the enhanced community quarantine.
Casas signed the P100-million worth PO “by authority of Labella”. It was conformed and signed by a certain Anderson Uy on the part of the supplier.
The items listed include 1.2 million cans of 155g of sardines at P22 each for a total amount of P26.4 million; 1.2 million cans of 150g beef loaf at P24 each for a total amount of P28.8 million; 1.2 million cans of 100g corned beef at P17 each for a total of P20.4 million; 600,000 cans of 70g sausage at P15 each for a total of P9 million; and 1.4 million packs of noodles at P11 each for a total of P15.4 million.
“Wala gyu’y right si Tomas Osmeña nga mo-accuse, mo-insinuate nga we are overpricing everything,” Casas said.
He confirmed that the sardines were bought by the current administration at P22 per can because it was the price provided by the supplier. Casas said the supplier charged a bit higher than the retail price because of the difficulty in transporting the goods under the ECQ period.
He said that P22 per can was the lowest price they can get if they buy in bulk based on the result of the canvass they made from various suppliers.
“Kanang atoang procurement karon, gi-canvass gyud nato. Niagi gyud na og saktong proseso. Taking into consideration pud nga karon krisis man ta, lisod man gani ipangita og supplier,” said Casas.
However, a quick check made by The Freeman from the same supermarket which supplied the city government revealed that the highest retail price of a popular brand of sardines was only P17.50.
Casas lamented that it is frustrating to be accused of anomaly while doing their job amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He accused the former mayor of just trying to get media attention.
“Siguro wa lang siya’y (Osmeña) lingaw. Siguro nagpatagad na siya. Mura man gud og wa pa siguro na siya ka-get over sa iyahang pagkapildi,” said Casas.
“Kung magpapansin pud unta siya ba, mangita siya og isyu nga dili siya sayop,” he added. FPL (FREEMAN)