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The unfinished twin four-story building construction project at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines campus. (photo by nitz arancon)

Lao to file damage suit vs USTP board; wants each member to pay P1 million

By NITZ ARANCON, Correspondent

WING-AN Construction and Development Corp. has threatened to file a multimillion-peso damage suit against members of the board of regents and other officials of the state-owned University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines over the institution’s refusal to pay for its construction work.

Engr. Selwyn Lao, Wing-An president, told the Gold Star Daily on Monday that he would file a case for damages against the board members and officials next month.

The board of regents is chaired by the now resigned Commission on Higher Education chair Patricia Licuanan. Murdered USTP president Ricardo Rotoras had served as its vice chairman.

Lao did not name the other board members but the USTP list of the members of the board of regents include USTP-Claveria chancellor and concurrent USTP officer-in-charge Rosalito Quirino, USTP-Cagayan de Oro chancellor Ruth Cabahug, Sen. Francis Escudero as chairman of the Senate education committee, Rep. Ann Hofer as chair of the House committee on higher and technical education, Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr.;

National Economic and Development Authority director general Ernesto Pernia who is represented by Neda regional director Leon Dacanay Jr.,  Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Pena as represented by DOST regional director Alfonso Alamban, Federation of  Faculty Associations president Alenogines San Diego, Federation of  Alumni Associations president Giovanni Fancubit and Federation of Student Supreme Councils president Keno Lamaclamac.

Lao said two of his lawyers were preparing the documentary evidence to support a civil case for damages against members of the board over the 2017 termination of his contract for the construction of a nearly P200-million twin four-story Student Center and Education Complex building at the USTP campus here.

He said his damage suit would have at least 15 respondents, each of whom would be asked to pay him at least P1 million in damages.

Lao alleged that USTP owes his construction firm over P63 million but the university refused to pay in full.

He said he did not file the damage suit last year because USTP officials continued to talk with him in an effort to reach a compromise agreement.

“They offered to pay but not the whole amount,” he said.

Lao said USTP’s offer was P30 million or nearly half of his P63-million claim.

“Until now, they have not given me an acceptable reason. They just explained in a letter that the their offer is based on their engineer’s evaluation,” Lao said.

He said he received three letters from USTP about the offer in February, June and November 2017, and these would be used by his lawyers as evidence.

Lao said the offer was unacceptable, asserting that his construction firm completed 60 percent of the deliverables.

But he said USTP maintained that only about 20 percent of the project was completed.

Lao said the project would have been completed if only USTP paid up.

Lao faulted the late Dr. Rotoras but said there were others who should be held liable.

“Dr. Rotoras was just one of those involved. There are many of them,” he said.


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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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