Inviting Sueno’s fate
Epimaco Densing III, the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s assistant secretary for plans and programs, said “the project to buy 76 Rosenbauer firetrucks would continue, with 14 units expected to arrive within the day” (“Firetrucks deal to push through, after all,” News, 4/19/17). It would appear, Densing is vested with authority to decide whether to proceed with the transaction.
If so, he justifies his decision simply with the fact that the Supreme Court has not issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the petition challenging the regularity of the transaction and because “this is a perfected contract. We’re just implementing a perfected contract.”
A contract, simply because it is perfected, does not necessarily mean it is valid. Perfected and even consummated contracts can be cancelled or rescinded, especially government contracts, on grounds provided for by law, more so, government contracts tainted with graft and corruption. I think this should be basic.
What if the Supreme Court would declare the transaction null and void for being tainted with irregularities amounting to graft and corruption? Will not Densing be criminally liable for insisting to proceed with it in the face of a challenge on its regularity? Can he validly claim good faith? Densing should carefully and seriously reflect on this, given the public’s impression, true or not, that President Duterte may have sensed some irregularities in the transaction, that’s why he fired Interior secretary Ismael Sueno. Is Densing inviting the same fate?
REX G. RICO, [email protected]
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