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Manila Standard Today - Graft raps filed vs Comelec’s Lim

News & Interviews
4 September 2017

By Rio Araja | Manila Standard Today 

FORMER Biliran representative Glenn Chong filed on Monday a formal complaint against Commissioner Christian Robert Lim before the Office of the Ombudsman for graft and serious misconduct.

In a 19-page complaint-affidavit, Chong accused Lim of giving special treatment to Smartmatic TIM Corp. in the 2016 elections.

He called on Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to look into his complaint and determine if there is probable cause to impeach Lim.

A plan to file an impeachment rap against Lim could be anchored on the Ombudsman's resolution, he added.

Chong was accompanied by former Negros Oriental representative Jacinto Paras and lawyer Manuel Luna.

The Biliran legislator said the complaint he filed was a “follow-up” to the graft and plunder raps which Paras filed with the Ombudsman in June 2016 against former Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., along with former commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph, and incumbent Commissioners Christian Robert Lim and Al Parreño, for approving Resolution No. 992 issued in December 2014.

The resolution gave way to the P240-million contract with Smartmatic to rehabilitate 81,000 PCOS, a deal that was declared null and void by the Supreme Court on April 21, 2015.

According to Chong, Lim pushed through with the negotiations of the refurbishment of over 80,000 precinct count optical scanners through direct contacting, and not through a bidding.

“Comelec failed to prove that direct contacting was legal for the P240-million contract with Smartmatic. There was no public bidding, and that Lim who privately negotiated with Smartmatic,” he said.

Such was “manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government,” he added.

“Respondent cannot feign ignorance of the facts and circumstances surrounding the problems and anomalies of the PCOD machines before and after the ‘midnight deal’ in question because he actively took part and even defended Smartmatic TIM Corp. in the several [congressional] hearings on these issues,” the 19-page complaint read.

Chong, however, raised concern if the Ombudsman would act on his complaint, saying “obviously, Commissioner Lim is a lawyer of the Liberal Party before becoming a commissioner so he is ‘yellow.’”

If Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista is impeached, Lim could take over the poll body, he lamented.