Laptop probe hits snag over ‘wrong expert’

September 16, 2022

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee determined yesterday that a resource person previously mentioned in a hearing on the allegedly overpriced laptops procured by the Department of Budget and Management was already dead.

Confirmation that the “Atty. Crisologo” invited to attend the hearing has already passed away was made in the afternoon by Senator Jinggoy Estrada, citing information from the resource person’s brother, Rep. Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo.

The congressman said his brother died last year from kidney disease complications.

The lawyer was said to have notarized a memorandum of agreement pertaining to the laptop procurement made by the Procurement Service of DBM for the Department of Education for the use of public school teachers.

Aside from a deceased resource person, a “wrong expert” was also invited to attend Thursday’s meeting.

According to National Bureau of Investigation cyber investigation and assessment center director Palmer Mallari, he has no expertise to determine if the laptops intended to be bought were the same as the actual laptops procured by PS-DBM.

“Our expertise is, actually (there seems to be) a confusion. We thought you invited (us) in our capacities as cybercrime investigators,” he said.

“Cybercrime investigations are different from computer hardware,” he added.

Mallari stressed that he is “not an expert on the quality, inferiorities, and superiorities of computers and hardware.”

Upon learning that they invited the wrong expert, Tolentino apologized to the invited official and dismissed him from the hearing.


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