AC Infrastructure Holdings Inc. and Aboitiz Land, Inc., members of the Team Orion consortium that submitted the highest complying bid for the Cavite-Laguna Expressway PPP project, together filed with the Philippine Office of the President a Comment on the Memorandum of Appeal put forward by Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc. (San Miguel Corp.) last June 27, 2014.
On June 11 the Philippine Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) disqualified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) from bidding for the P35.42-billion (around US$800 million) PPP project.
DPWH's Special Bids and Awards Committee disqualified Optimal Infrastructure Development Inc. (San Miguel Corp.) after it failed to comply with the bidding rules, particularly on the validity of its bid security.
Team Orion raised the following points in its Comment on the Memorandum of Appeal:
- Optimal cannot be allowed to undo and reset the bidding process simply by its own announcement of its alleged bid, given that it is non-verifiable and legally non-existent, "a bid that was returned unopened and that was, in a manner of speaking, officially dead, especially after Appellant [Optimal] spoiled it as evidence."
- Public policy and the dictates of transparency and good governance demand strict compliance with the bidding rules.
- The sanctity and integrity of the PPP framework and bidding process must be protected, lest confidence in the process is undermined.
- Optimal forfeited its right to question the Resolution by its failure to appeal prior to its implementation and by its compliance with the Resolution through its appearance before the SBAC and acceptance of its Technical and Financial Bid in compliance with the Resolution. Optimal did not follow the legal process and went to the media to announce its alleged bid. It appealed to the Office of the President two weeks after its disqualification has been implemented and after public opinion has not resulted in the acceptance of the alleged bid, a result which Optimal now seeks from the Office of the President.