Tolentino: Conspiracy behind pricey DepEd laptops

Senator Francis Tolentino on Thursday said there was a “conspiracy” in the procurement of allegedly overpriced and outdated laptops of the Department of Education through the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service.

“It became very complicated because at the start we are arguing about the dates, however, it was proven that the MoA (memorandum of agreement) was not yet finished in May even though it was released in February,” Tolentino, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said in a press conference at the Senate.

“So it was definitely planned. The conspiracy angle is still there. I cannot tell what are the roles of the conspirators,” he added.

He made the statement as the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee formally terminated its probe on the DepEd’s allegedly overpriced laptops.

Tolentino did not disclose the identities of those involved in the “conspiracy,” however, he noted that it involved private individuals.

Before terminating the Blue Ribbon hearing, he announced a new set of rules in the panel, which involves the participation of lawyers.

Tolentino said the panel will allow the resource persons who were not given a chance to explain their sides.

“I perceived that a lot of lawyers will participate especially for those persons now being implicated,” he said.

“It would show transparency. It would assist the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and it would show that we have due process and we are fair,” he added.

Tolentino said each resource person will be given at least 15 days to explain their sides through written statements.

During the panel’s hearing, the Commission on Audit showed a parallel simulation test to compare the laptop procured by the PS-DBM with a unit price of P58,000 to a laptop with the same market price.

During the parallel simulation of both laptops, the laptop procured under the Bayanihan II funds took at least 48.65 seconds to start, twice slower compared to the laptop with the same market price.

The state auditors also revealed that more than 1,500 units of laptops remained undistributed in the stock room of the DepEd Central Office.

“Out of the 2,278 procured units allocated to DepEd Central Office, 1,678 units remained in the Asset Management Division stock room as of 17 August 2022,” the CoA said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *