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Leila B. Salaverria
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Asia

Bidder tells how he was trapped in Makati City Hall elevator

Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN | Leila B. Salaverria | Friday, Sep 12, 2014

MANILA, Philippines-A supplier of rescue equipment on Thursday surfaced to say he was the bidder trapped in Makati City Hall's elevator when he tried to win the deal for the supply of fire-fighting equipment.

Marcial Lichauco Jr., president of 911 Alarm Inc., said his experience was worse than described earlier because he was trapped for over an hour, and not 20 minutes.

Lichauco appeared at the hearing of a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee to corroborate the earlier statement of former Makati general services head Mario Hechanova, who said procurement officials had caused a potential supplier for fire-fighting equipment to be trapped in the elevator so that he would be late for the bidding.

Hechanova alleged that the officials made sure the bidder would be late so that the contract would be won by a friend of then Makati Councilor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay. He also alleged that other contracts in Makati were rigged for favoured suppliers.

The contract for fire-fighting equipment was won by Alexandrite Blue Inc., the qualification of which Lichauco earlier questioned.

Confirmation

Lichauco said Hechanova's Senate testimony was very similar to what happened to him at Makati City Hall seven years ago.

"I would like to confirm that the incident described by engineer Hechanova in his testimony happened to us on May 15, 2007," he told the blue ribbon subcommittte investigating the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II.

He said he and other officers arrived at Makati City Hall at 12:53 p.m. for the 2 p.m. bidding. At that time, only two of the city hall's six elevators were working and the others were said to be under maintenance.

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