Benguet contractor faces criminal charges

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet  – A Benguet-based contractor is now facing criminal charges before the provincial prosecutor’s office after he allegedly harassed, threatened and maligned two fellow contractors inside the office of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) office at the Provincial Capitol for their alleged refusal to accede to his demand to withdraw their bid from a reported committed project.

In their 5-page sworn affidavit, Rose Maliones and Nora Galuten narrated that sometime in March 2018, the Office of the Provincial Governor called up a general meeting for all licensed contractors of the province where Rose participated in the said meeting.

During the said meeting, Gov. Crescencio C. Pacalso informed all of them that since Benguet had a very low performance in the implementation and accomplishment of projects and that it has less than 30 percent accomplishment in its project, thus, he pleaded to all of them to participate in all of the projects to improve the accomplishment records of the province in the completion of projects.

Maliones, who is using RL Maliones Construction as her company, got interested in the governor’s manifestation and she then inquired if there were available projects that were open for bidding so that she can participate.

The duo added that during the pre-bidding conference, one of the contractors, Corazon Pago, presented to Maliones a copy of the listings of projects subject for bidding, however, in every project, there were handwritten names of contractors and that she was told by Pago that the said projects were reportedly assigned to the named contractors to one of the known alleged bagman of Gov. Pacalso in the name of Jun de Leon who handles all the projects of the province.

After reviewing the copy presented to her, Maliones noticed that in item No. 12, for the construction of open gym phase for Ambiong Elementary School, has no contractor assigned for the said project and that she was told that it was still allegedly vacant so she immediately purchased the required bid documents for the said item wherein she paid the amount of P5,000 for the bid documents.

After purchasing the bid documents for the project, Maliones asked her engineer to prepare and accomplish the needed documents in preparation for the upcoming public bidding of the projects.

However, she claimed that in the afternoon of July 10, 2018, she received a call from an unknown number and introduced himself as a certain Jun de Leon and informed that he is the trusted man of Gov. Pacalso regarding projects in the province and after introducing his name, she inquired if what can she do for him. T her surprise and dismay, de Leon allegedly told her not to take or bid the project in Ambiong since the same was assigned to a provincial prosecutor.

Maliones reportedly responded to de Leon that she could not lower her bid since the prices of construction of materials are too high and that she wanted to participate in the bidding and if ever she losses in the bidding, it is alright with her.

After a few minutes, she again allegedly received a call from de Leon ordering her not to drop or file her bid since the assigned personnel of the identified prosecutor forgot to purchase bid documents that is why they were not able to prepare the necessary documents and that he further reportedly told her that if she will not drop her bid, there will be a failure of bidding and it will be rebidded again, giving the said prosecutor to prepare the necessary documents.

Maliones responded by telling him that why should she not drop her bid when it was her first time to participate in the bidding and to accomplish a project in the province for her to use her license for her to have the necessary work experience.

Ironically, she claimed that de Leon allegedly started shouting at her telling her not to drop her bid and allegedly threatening her by telling her by allegedly shooting her.

Maliones immediately turned off her mobile phone to avoid further calls from de Leon who was allegedly so arrogant in commanding her and even threatening her.

At around 7:45 am of July 11, 2018, Maliones and Galuten went to file the former’s bid before the BAC office and while they were seated in the said office, together with a certain Danny Copite, and several persons who were present, a male person suddenly came to the office and started shouting at the top of his voice and pointing his accusing finger to Nora and questioned why she was dropping her bid.

Galuten was shocked and surprised with the said incident and bravely asked the male person on whom he was referring to. The male person responded that he was Jun de Leon and asked her who was Rose Maliones which she then pointed as the one sitting beside Copite.

The due stated that de Leon stood in front of Maliones and started shouting at her telling the same statement and allegedly continued maligning her, threatening her among others.

After hearing all his statements, the duo felt so embarrassed and ashamed since de Leon allegedly shouted at them in the presence of a number of persons in the BAC office and that they were not able to react immediately that prompted them to leave the room.

Maliones then realized that all the projects in the province funded by the local government are allegedly being maneuvered and arranged by de Leon who is the one reportedly assigning the projects to contractors known and close to him and that the bidding process is allegedly being rigged and arranged by him.

Granting without admitting that the project was assigned to someone else, the due questioned de Leon on why did he still use the name of a provincial prosecutor as a contractor despite the fact that the official being referred to is a government prosecutor and that by dropping and using the name of the prosecutor to whom the intended project is assigned has a clear intention of threatening them of not pursuing their bid.

Maliones described the acts of de Leon in allegedly forcing her not to continue with her bid  and by shouting and yelling unsavory words to her sister has caused embarrassment and shame to her and her sister considering that it was done inside a public office.

She asserted that the actions of de Leon, who she later knew his true name as Edward de Leon, Jr., by way of force and alleged violence, in preventing her or compelling her not to continue with her bid was against her will since she wanted to participate in the said bid.

Herald Express tried to get in touch with de Leon but he could not be reached for comment on the allegations against him.