The claim of self-proclaimed anti-graft crusader Petronilo Sarigumba that he is purportedly â€˜taking the cudgelsâ€™, representing Boholano contractors as President of Association of Boholâ€™s Construction Companies, Inc. is now unmasked,Â Â tainted with doubts and is under legal scrutiny.
Sarigumba last week, distributed copies to media outletsÂ his Ombudsman complaint against National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Region 7 Irrigation Manager Modesto Membreve, who he accused of â€œdemanding, receiving kickbacks from himâ€.
Records obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show only five (5) members of said association, namely: Calixto M. Seroje, Johnny Gulle, Jernigal Cempron, Wilfredo M. Tan and Jonny Asayas. All of these names do not appear as owners of legitimate construction firms/ contractors operating in Bohol.
There is also no showing in the SEC documents, that Sarigumba is the association president and that the association officially represents all legitimate and accredited Boholano contractors actively doing business here.
Sarigumba himself who claims to be the association President, uses another construction firm M.D. Biliran, in his dealings with NIA. The Biliran firm is not a member of Sarigumbaâ€™s claimed Boholano contractorsâ€™ association.
The Avila, Tamayo Law Office based in Quezon City, in behalf of Membreve, has written to all those purported association members asking confirmation or denial in their supposed membership to said association.
One member even gave his address as in Cabancalan, Bulacan while another is in Cogtong, Candijay but does not live there.
These supposed association members are asked if they indeed approved a resolution authorizing Sarigumba to cause the Libelous publication against Membreve in local newspapers, published on October 9, 2016.
The fictitious nature of said resolution was noticed. The association allegedly held its Special Meeting at Brew Point in Tagbilaran City on June 14, 2015 but its resolution is numbered â€œNo. 2, Series of 2016â€.
It is also noted that SEC issued the associationâ€™s Certificate of Registration on October 21, 2015; therefore, the association had no legal personality on such date of the supposed meeting held on June 14, 2015.
â€œWe are asking you to submit to us your reply to the foregoing questions because we intend to initiate Civil and Criminal Action against Â Petronilo Sarigumba. If you disown any participation in the Association of Boholâ€™s Construction Companies, Inc., then we will exclude you in the said proposed civil and criminal actions,â€ the Abaya-Tamayo Law Office letter said.(Please SEE FULL TextÂ of the letter printed in a separate page)
Documents submitted to SEC for registration are under oath, subscribed by a notary public and any misrepresentation, untruthful or false declaration constitute falsification of documents.
MEMBREVE HAS NO SANDIGANBAYAN CASE
To set the record straight and refute allegations of Sarigumba that he (Membreve) is allegedly a corrupt official, the Sandiganbayan, Quezon City has issued a certification stating that Modesto G. Membreve is â€œnot accused/ a defendant in any case filed in this Court.â€(PleaseÂ SEE FULL TEXTÂ printed on a separate page in this paper).
The Sandiganbayan certification is dated October 13, 2016, bearing the letterhead, water mark and official seal of the graft court.
Sarigumba who calls himself an â€œanti-graft crusaderâ€ has been unmasked to be nothing but a â€œscheming, disgruntled, terminated contractorâ€ of irrigation projects here.
â€œBecause I am now the incumbent Regional Manager of NIA Region VII and because I did not accede to his request for contract extension despite the Order of Contract Termination issued against him by my predecessor, I now become his natural object of anger and revenge,â€ Central Visayas Regional Irrigation Manager Modesto Membreve said in exposing the real motive of Sarigumbaâ€™s publicized accusations against him.
Â â€œHis complaints deserve outright dismissal for lack of merit. It does not even contain place, date, time of the acts complained of and of the identities of the people allegedly involved; not substantiated by evidence and even affidavits of a corroborating witness,â€ Membreve added.
Records at the NIA regional office reveal that Sarigumba has at least four (4) irrigation projects that has been terminated this yeardue to negative slippage as high as -50.46% and had happened despite the several reconsiderations and Â contract time extension granted to him.
Reports also said that Sarigumba, after receipt of NIA projectsâ€™Notice to Proceed and collecting the 15% mobilization funds, wonâ€™t start the project but instead goes on a Â â€˜buying spreeâ€™ of brand new cars for himself.
Four 2016 termination orders were issued by then NIA 7 Regional Manager Mario Sande against Sarigumba on multi-million projects awarded to him but found to have violated the terms stipulated in the contract documents.
In the irrigation lined canal project ((RIO-LMC-01-2015) for Capayas (Ubay) Irrigation System, a termination order dated May 17, 2016 was issued after Sarigumba failed to improve his accomplishment of only 34.94% despite being granted two time extension requests; – the first an extended time for 48 calendar days stretching the contract expiry to April 12, 2016 and the second extension granting an additional 55 calendar days extending the contract expiry to June 6, 2016.
Despite the reminders, warnings, consideration and several extensions given to Sarigumba, his accomplishment performance did not improve.
The same cause of termination happened to three other projects; – Construction of MFD Lined Canals (RIO-LMC-04c-2015) Bayongan (San Miguel) Irrigation System; CIS Rehab Project Package 2 (BCIMO-LMC-27-2015) of BasakDako (Bugang-Loctob, Bilar) and Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (RIO-LMC-15-2013, Canalization/ Structures) located in Cayacay, Mabini, Bohol.
All Notices of Termination were issued due to increasingly accumulated negative slippage up to 66.21% with an actual accomplishment of only 33%. On several instances, Sarigumba would refuse to receive serving of a termination order and even if sent by registered mail, he continues to refuse receiving such orders.
â€œI resumed my position only on June 1, 2016 as Regional Manager for NIA-7 and I am only implementing those orders earlier issued by my predecessor, then regional manager Mario Sande and they are office orders, and must be respected,â€Membreve said.
The belated complaints of Sarigumba also bear evident bad faith.
â€œWhy didnâ€™t he filed the case against the one who ordered the termination orders? I can only surmise that because I did not accede to his request for contract extension, out of anger and revenge, he resorts to intimidation, harassment and even character demolition using the media.â€
â€œBut as records at NIA will show, it is Sarigumba himself to be blamed. His performance as contractor of NIA projects was really atrocious, and he doesnâ€™t deserve to be allowed to participate anymore in the implementation of NIA projects,â€œMembreve revealed. (Reports by:Â FCA)Â