Press Release
August 22, 2021

De Lima urges Congress to investigate contract awarded for 2022 elections equipment to Duterte-linked firm

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima urged the Congress to investigate the Commission on Elections' (COMELEC) awarding of logistics contract for the 2022 presidential elections to F2 Logistics Philippines, a firm which is largely controlled by noted Duterte campaign donor and Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy.

In filing Senate Resolution No. 855, De Lima stressed the need to ensure that the election processes are free from even suspicions of cheating, manipulation, and irregularities by disqualifying suppliers with known links to identified political parties and possible candidates.

"There is a need to avoid any semblance of conflict of interest and ensure that no supplier that participated in partisan political activities should be awarded with contracts connected to the conduct of our national and local elections," she said.

"Any transaction or contract that would erode public trust in government, and in the objectivity of civil service, must be put under the strictest scrutiny," she added.

Last July 27, the COMELEC special bids and awards committee (SBAC) declared F2 Logistics Philippines, Inc. as the bidder with the lowest calculated bid for the ₱1.61 billion project for the procurement and deployment of election equipment, peripherals, forms, supplies, paraphernalia and warehousing for 2022 elections.

F2 supposedly bested three other firms that qualified out of eight participating companies. As the winning bidder, the firm is expected to deliver equipment and supplies such as vote-counting machines, external batteries and accessories, consolidation or canvassing system machines, transmission equipment and devices, and ballots.

Uy, who was previously awarded a government contract and was investigated for his alleged links with the administration, has reportedly sat as chairman of F2 Logistics Philippines since 2006.

De Lima, a former election lawyer, said the Senate should ensure that the awarding of government contracts is compliant with the provisions of the Government Procurement Reform Act and other relevant laws.

"There is a need to revisit and review existing rules and regulations regarding the bidding out of government contracts to ensure competitiveness and fair play in public bidding processes," she said.

Should conflict of interest be found to surround the subject contract, De Lima pointed out that those who are found to have taken part in it must be brought before the public to answer for the decisions they have made and choices they have taken that could potentially endanger public interest.

"Even a whiff of cronyism and the slightest accusation of possible corruption must warrant public concern for these threaten the people's right of suffrage," she said.

"This issue should not be taken lightly especially when an apparent majority control over many industries that affect the lives and rights of Filipinos are concentrated in the same hands and within the same circle of those who are closely connected to the President," she added.

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