Christmas bazaar

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Manila, Philippines — The President of the biggest local business organization in Marikina City vehemently denied claims by the Marikina City government that it has failed in its obligations with regards to the operation of the Christmas Night Bazaar (tiangge) late last year.

Mr. Eduardo Francisco, who heads the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Marikina Chapter (PCCI-Marikina), said he was just made as a “collateral damage” because of the ongoing clash between defeated and winning candidates under Marikina City Mayor Del De Guzman, during the recently concluded May 13 mid-term elections.

“Naging collateral damage lang ako dahil sa paglalaban ng mga natalong kandidato at nanalong kandidato under kay mayor. Kasi nabalitaan nila na magfi-file sa Ombudsman ang mga natalo, magfa-file ng demanda. Para ma cover-up iyun, pinush through nila ang demanda sa PCCI-M,” Francisco said.

Francisco said the tiff between the local government unit (LGU) officials and his group stemmed from a falling-out of a partnership engagement that the two institutions entered into. He said City hall officials are claiming that the local chamber has yet to remit a balance of P17 million from the proceeds of their joint project, “Del Pasko 2012” and its Night Bazaar (Tiangge) activities.

Francisco denied claims by the local government that it has failed on its obligations despite 3 demand letters dated December 11, January 9, and January 24,

According to De Guzman, PCCI-Marikina entered into a memorandum of agreement with the city government last October 2012 to operate the Christmas Tiangge for the contract price of P22 million to be paid in 3 installments: P5 million upon signing of contract, P6 million on Nov. 30, 2012, and the balance of P11 million on Dec. 15, 2012.

However, De Guzman ordered the filing of a P14 million collection suit against Francisco and its Executive Director Leonardo D. Clarino, after they allegedly only able to pay the first installment of P5 million on time last October 8.

De Guzman said PCCI also allegedly reneged on the succeeding installments but was able to pay an additional P2.2 million recently after some officials of PCCI have come forward to help solve the problem.

But Francisco insisted that it doesn’t own the city government any money because it has delivered on all its “Deliverables” as provided for in their contract and has incurred costs – in terms of operational, procedural and technical requirements – advanced earlier in behalf of its partners non-delivery of its “Deliverables” amounting to total of Quantified Income/Opportunity losses of P16,025 million.

Francisco also said that the chamber remitted a total of P7.269 million for an over-payment of P1.294 million.

Francisco said PCCI-M’s appointed Sub-Organizer Bandrang Abdulgaffor allegedly run-off with the collections from the Tiangge stallholders, after he allegedly refused to turnover the said collections to PCCI-M management for proper accounting by its partner LGU.

For his part, Clarino said the filing of a collection suit against their group is just an elaborate cover-up to an impending Ombudsman complaint involving the city’s top officials.

He also said that the collection suit also came on the heels of an earlier conviction meted by the Ombudsman on Mayor De Guzman ordering him to be suspended for six months.

Both Francisco and Clarino also said that they will be filing libel charges against the city’s Public Information Officer, Mr. Paul Edward Sison, whom they said “willfully and systematically” issued press releases with malicious intention of destroying their reputation.

Source: Christmas bazaar.

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