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DepEd says expensive camera came from LGU

by Joyce Remo

THE Department of Education said the expensive camera that earlier drew it into controversy came from a local government unit and was not purchased by education officials.

The DepEd made the statement as it provided updates on the actions it had taken on the issues it earlier faced, including the procurement of overpriced laptops and the reselling of its laptops issued in a surplus store. 

In a statement, the DepEd said it was not involved in the purchase of the camera that was seen in a social media post with a department sticker indicating that it cost over P155,000.

It said it was able to trace the camera and learned that it was a property of the Schools Division Office of Imus City. 

“The camera was given by the Local Government Unit to the SDO. DepEd did not have any participation or involvement in the procurement process of the subject cameras,” it said. 

It called on netizens to be “circumspect in their posts to ensure that no misinformation is propagated.”

The camera was first seen in a now-deleted Facebook post of photojournalist Jhun Dantes and was reshared on Twitter by Renato Reyes. 

READ: DepEd to look into claims it bought ‘overpriced’ camera

READ: DepEd says it bought high-end, not entry-level, cameras

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Overpriced laptops

Meanwhile, the DepEd said it would adhere to the Senate Blue Ribbon’s recommendation to file criminal cases against past and present DepEd officials regarding the procurement of the overpriced laptops that cost around P979 million.

It also said the filing of the cases will be referred to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for evaluation and appropriate action.

“We are ready to receive the official BRC report from the Senate,” it said. 

It also said there is a pending administrative case against an employee of the department that is allegedly involved in the procurement.

DepEd laptops sold in Cebu

In October 2022, a concerned citizen reported being able to purchase a 14″ Coby NBPC 1958 laptop issued to the DepEd in a surplus store in Cebu.

The said laptop has partially scraped DepEd logos, which indicated that the equipment was custom-built for the education department’s use.

DepEd confirmed that the laptops being resold were part of the DepEd Computerization Program. However, these units were not procured through the Procurement Services of the Department of Budget and Management.

“The Department is now coordinating with relevant law enforcement agencies to apprehend the perpetrators,” it said.

Government ‘scammers’

Meanwhile, the education department commended the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for the arrest of the “appointment scam” mastermind Diokno Eje, also known as Vaughn Vincent.

According to the DepEd, Eje was the subject of numerous complaints regarding the co-called “appointment for sale” scam, where individuals were offered government posts in exchange for a huge sum of money.

It also said it is looking into a similar case of deceitful activity involving a certain DepEd employee named Maricon.

“The Department is investigating a similar case of fraudulent dealings of a DepEd employee named Maricon. Administrative proceedings for various charges have been instituted and are already underway,” it said. 

It also called on those with personal knowledge or dealings with Maricon to cooperate in the investigation.

Failure to deliver supplies

The DepEd also reported that  it has discovered yet another case of failure on the part of a service provider to comply with its contract. 

It is looking into the legal remedies it could take to address these.

It also said it has provided “general statements” on the updates in order not to preempt ongoing investigations. 

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