February 20, 2023 – The Department of Education (DepEd) is taking measures to ensure that values of integrity, transparency, and accountability are being upheld by our officials, teachers, and non-teaching personnel.
In the past months, we have immediately acted on several legal cases filed against alleged erring public officials, personnel, and service providers of DepEd. In the spirit of transparency, we would like to provide the following legal updates:
1. On the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) report re: procurement of overpriced laptops
The DepEd welcomes the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee report on the laptops procured by PS-DBM in 2021
The filing of cases against past and present officials of the DepEd, as recommended by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, 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.
In addition, there is a pending administrative case against one DepEd employee involved in the procurement.
2. On DepEd laptops being sold in Cebu
The Department has confirmed that the laptops being sold in a surplus store in Cebu, although not amongst those procured through the PS-DBM, were part of the DepEd Computerization Program (DCP). The Department is now coordinating with relevant law enforcement agencies to apprehend the perpetrators.
3. On government ‘scammers’
DepEd lauds the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the arrest of Diokno Eje, a.k.a Vaughn Vincent, who is the subject of numerous complaints about an alleged “appointment scam” wherein several personalities were offered government posts in exchange for a huge sum of money.
Likewise, 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.
We thank our media partners for tipping us off, and for alerting the Vice President and Secretary of Education on this matter. It has prompted other complainants to provide critical information against her.
DepEd is encouraging those who may have personal knowledge or dealings with Maricon to come forward and provide us with more information.
4. On photos circulating online re: alleged ‘overpriced’ camera
The Department has traced the now-deleted post of photojournalist Jhun Dantes, and shared by the account of a certain Renato Reyes, of a Canon 1500D camera with a DepEd sticker attached indicating an acquisition cost of P155,929, as a property of the Schools Division Office (SDO) 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.
DepEd continues to call on netizens to be circumspect in their posts to ensure that no misinformation is propagated.
5. On failure to deliver supplies
The Department has found another case of the failure on the part of a service provider to comply with its contract — since the year 2021. We are currently exploring legal remedies and working on this issue.
Note that we have deliberately provided general statements on these updates so as not to preempt or hamper ongoing investigations.
The DepEd recognizes the important fight against corruption to improve the delivery of public service. We reiterate our call to the public to be vigilant and to actively report any fraudulent and unethical acts of DepEd personnel. Those who will be engaging in such activities will be dealt with accordingly and swiftly.