Peña charged with cake overpricing
ACTING Mayor Romulo Peña of Makati City is facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged overpriced cakes for the elders.
In a 47-page complaint, former Makati Vice Mayor Roberto “Bobby” Brillante accused Peña of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act over a contract he entered into with Goldilocks Inc., and the cancellation of the city’s old contract with Timstate/Bakerite Food and Beverage Corp.
Brillante also alleged that Peña violated the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Peña brushed aside the charges as “absurd and baseless.” His spokesman said the case was a desperate attempt to smear Peña. “We have observed all measures as far as practicable to ensure transparency,” said Peña’s spokesman, Gilbert delos Reyes.
The complaint sheet stated that Peña awarded a contract of P8.666 million to Goldilocks Inc. to supply 31,187 cakes for the city’s senior citizens from August to December 2015 at P280 each cake, Brillante said.
While the Goldilocks cake is P26 lower than the Bakerite cake, the former is nine inches in diameter but only two inches in height, which is half the height of Bakerite’s, he added.
The city government paid P3.036 million more than it should pay for the same volume of cakes, he noted. Brillante urged Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to place the acting mayor under preventive suspension.
Earlier in August last year, the cake issue cropped up during a Senate Blue Ribbon subcomittee hearing where Vice President Jejomar Binay was accused of overpricing the cakes supplied to senior citizens of Makati. Binay denied the charges, saying these were fabricated to raise malicious and baseless allegations to smear him and his family.