ARMM ‘brand new’ P12M mobile clinic smells fishy – gov

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/19 April) – Too fast to conk out.

Acting Gov. Mujiv S. Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao turned the key down on the P12-million German-made mobile clinic rolled out by the previous Adiong administration six months ago.

“It was declared as brand new but actually, beneath the stickers, it is full of rust,” he disclosed Tuesday in Filipino before a crowd of at least 1,000 attending his first 100 days in office report.

The mobile clinic has been lying idle in the ARMM compound for a few months now, with Hataman stressing the transmission unit of the bus having a defect.

“It was pulled back to the ARMM compound after a previous medical mission in Parang [Maguindanao] and Libungan [North Cotabato,]” he said.

Hataman showcased the mobile clinic as one of the alleged anomalous transactions uncovered by his administration in line with the efforts to weed out corruption in the impoverished Muslim region.

He assumed office on December 22, 2011, after the Supreme Court ruled as constitutional Republic Act 10153, the law that deferred the August ARMM elections to the 2013 midterm polls.

It also allowed President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to appoint officers-in-charge until an election is held in the region.

Hataman later told reporters that he “will not accept the mobile clinic even if the Commission on Audit will declare it as brand new.”

The acceptable solution is for the supplier of the bus to replace the unit, he stressed.

Naguib G. Sinarimbo, former executive secretary of the previous Adiong administration, defended the mobile clinic, noting its “purchase went through a tedious and rigorous public bidding.”

Saying he was not a member of the Bids and Awards Committee, Sinarimbo said the decision to purchase a mobile clinic was reached at a time when ARMM was under a state of calamity due to massive flooding.

“If there are defects in the unit, the proper course of action is to pursue the warranties such as repair free of charge or even replacement if warranted, and we will help the current leadership in this direction,” he said.

But to impute malice to the BAC without even undertaking the proper procedure and publicized the same, to say the least, is unfair, Sinarimbo said.

The BAC chairperson at the time, according to Sinarimbo, was former Cabinet Secretary Ernie Masorong, who could not be immediately reached for comment.

The mobile clinic, said to be the longest custom-built unit in Mindanao, is made up of X-ray machines, electrocardiogram (ECG), laboratory facilities for urine and blood analysis, and dental equipment, among others. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)