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Caloocan City Mayor Oca Malapitan

Caloocan mayor dismisses raps filed against him 

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Caloocan City Mayor Oca Malapitan hit at those who filed complaints against him before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) over his students’ tablets project by saying the issue is being used by his enemies “to gain political points with the people” of the city, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

Although Malapitan said he has not yet received a copy of the complaint, he expressed confidence that “it will be junked” by the OMB as the project has documents proving that it was compliant with the requirements set by law.

“The complainants have been using this issue since last year to gain political points with the people of Caloocan. Kumpyansa ako na mababasura ito dahil may mga dokumento na nagpapatunay na compliant at dumaan ang proyektong ito sa tamang proseso (I’m confident that it will be junked because it has enough documents to prove that the project is compliant with the requirements and has undergone the right procedures),” Malapitan said in a statement.

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He added that he will answer the claims at the proper forum and is “confident that the Ombudsman will see through their lies.”

The local government sent to reporters on Wednesday a supposed Invitation to Bid (ITB) regarding the project. It is entitled “COVID-19 Emergency Procurement – Tablet” with reference number 7173668.

It was also published on a national newspaper, the local government added.

Malapitan’s statement came after three city councilors belonging to the opposition party filed graft charges against him, along with four other individuals, composed of two city officials, a Department of Education official, and a private individual.

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Complainant and councilors Christopher Malonzo, Marylou San Buenaventura, and Alexander Mangasar alleged that the tablets that were given away to public school students for online learning amid COVID-19 pandemic “do not meet the minimum Technical Specifications provided for…by the DepEd.”

They also alleged that the chosen tablet brand, a Cherry Cosmos 7, was not even commercially available in the market.

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Photo Courtesy of Caloocan City District 1 Councilor Enteng Malapitan

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