By MARK FRANCISCO
CAGAYAN de Oro City--The management of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) denied the allegations made by the contractor of its unfinished eight-storey Student Center and Education Complex accusing murdered president Ricardo Rotoras of corruption.
A day earlier, Wing An Construction Corp. President Selwyn Lao accused Rotoras and nabbed Architect Rey Galua of receiving kickbacks in the course of the construction of the building which was stopped in January 2017. Galua is in jail on illegal ammunition complaints, his incarceration is not connected with the murder of Rotoras, who was gunned down in December.
In the statement sent by USTP spokesperson Anne Lorraine Sitoy, the university stated denied Lao’s allegations, saying that it was made at the time when Rotoras could no longer defend himself due to his death.
“What was not disclosed by Engr. Lao is the fact that he had implicated all the other members of the Board of Regents in these allegations of corruption who were supposed to share the ten percent among themselves. The fact that the allegations only came out after the Board of Regents terminated the project casts considerable doubt on the credibility of these accusations by Engr. Lao,” the university stated.
Sitoy added that the construction of the Student Center and Education Complex was stopped because Wing An Construction Corp. subcontracted without authority, made an unauthorized substitution of key personnel and failed to deploy key personnel committed under the contract.
She said that the construction of the other six new buildings in the USTP campus in a span of 11 years was finished without a single allegation of corruption. All these buildings – Engineering Building, Science Complex, ICT Building, Administration Building, cafeteria and gym – were designed by Galua.
Sitoy also noted that after the Board of Regents stopped the Student Center and Education Complex construction in January 2017, Wing An Construction Corp. did not challenge the university before the courts.
In another disclosure, Sitoy revealed that the USTP Board of Regents filed a corruption complaint against Galua before the Office of the Ombudsman in September last year for allegedly being employed by Wing An Construction Corp. despite being a government employee at the time as dean of the university’s College of Architecture.
Sitoy said that ten months prior to the complaint filing, Galua was fired from USTP for gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service after the regents discovered about his alleged moonlighting. Galua is presently in a hospital under police detention. He maintains his own architectural firm called RD Galua Associates since 2008.
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