Widespread Corruption at Tagbilaran City Hall

Flashback 2004 - Tagbilaran City Hall authorities released last Monday the lacking documents vital to the investigation on the construction of the new City Hall.

Lawyer Florendo Columnas, head of the Independent Composite Evaluation Team (ICET) said that, as promised by City Engr. Pianicita Castolo, the documents were released to the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

However, Columnas (as of 7 p.m. last night) said that he has to check if all the lacking documents are intact as released last Monday.

Columnas said that the probe team will convene at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon for its second meeting at the office of the city lawmaking body.

Archt. Soc Fucanan, representing the United Architects Association of the Philippines (UAP) was commissioned by Columnas to conduct an inventory of the documents released last Monday. He said that Archt. Fucanan will be more familiar with the documents since majority of the "missing" documents are technical in nature.

The ICET asked the office of Engr. Castolo to release the following documents: architectural and engineering plans for the first contract of P49.9 million; architectural and engineering plans for the additional works of P25.2 million, bill of materials and estimates of the revised or additional works of P25.2 million, specifications for the additional works of P25.2 million; as-built plan for the realized building and supplemental documents of the additional works, namely supplemental contract, and availability of funds.

Columnas said that these vital documents will be taken as the basis of the investigation.

The ICET head reminded the public that the ongoing investigation is an off-shot of the resolution approved by the SP creating the said body and at the same time commissioning it to conduct a truly "independent investigation."

The latest documents released last Monday will be evaluated by the probe team when it convenes tomorrow.

The body met last Thursday for their first meeting. However, it failed to proceed since vital documents were not included in the documents released by the office of the city accountant through the Commission on Audit.

The non-availability of the vital documents surprised members of the probe team.

Together with Atty. Columnas in the probe team are Archt. Fucanan of UAP; Leah Magno of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), Engr. Welington Pilongo of the Federated Parents-Teachers Association and lawyer Salvador Diputado of Bohol Times, representing the media. Highways Dist. Engr. Celestino Adlaon failed to attend the meeting last Thursday.