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Abaya rapped over shady P3.8-B plate license deal

politics_Columnist blasts Abaya, says he's too dependent on advisers

Former Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya faces possible indictment over the alleged anomalous P3.8-billion license plate deal.

Accompanied by their lawyer, former Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3) General Manager Al Vitangcol III, and the Citizens Crime Watch (CCW) filed a criminal complaint on Tuesday (November 6) before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Abaya. Abaya is accused of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Officials and Employees.

Also included in the rap sheet were Transportation Assistant Secretary Dante Lantin; Land Transportation Office (LTO) Alfonso Tan Jr.; former DOTC Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) members Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, Rene Limcaoco, Julianito Bucayan Jr., and Catherine Jennifer Gonzales. The complaint was filed after the DOJ issued an August 21 resolution ordering the idictment of the officials of Power Plates Development Concepts Inc. and J. Knieriem BV-Power Plates for estafa through falsification of commercial document, false testimony and perjury, and violation of RA 9184 (Government Procurement Act).

In 2013, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) awarded the contract for the P3.8-billion Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program (MVLPSP) to Power Plates Development Concepts Inc. and J. Knieriem BV-Power Plates (PPI-JKG Joint Venture). According to the complainants, the deal caused a myriad of problems including the non-issuance of license plates to paid vehicle owners, carnapping and traffic violations, among others.

“Had the BAC allowed the post qualification, DOTC could have established that PPI-JKG Joint Venture does not have the financial capability to manufacture the license plates under the MVLPSP Project,” the complainants stressed.

“This Honorable Office (DOJ) further established that conspiracy existed among the respondents, PPI and JKG, and that of the DOTC-BAC,” they added.

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