Teachers' party-list expresses doubt DepEd will probe laptop fiasco fairly

IT HAS been more than two weeks since the issue came to light but the Department of Education (DepEd) has yet to disclose the result of its investigation on why its custom-built laptops were being sold in a surplus shop in Mandaue City.

This concern was raised by members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in Cebu who feared that the DepEd might have shelved its investigation on the controversy.

Antonia Maamo-Lim, ACT Cebu chapter president, told SunStar Cebu on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, that she earlier expressed doubt that the DepEd would conduct a proper investigation.

“If there was an investigation then there is a possibility that they won’t divulge it to the public. I think it’s zero or negative percent that they are conducting a clear investigation,” she said in Cebuano.

Lim believes that if high-ranking officials are involved in the controversy, they will be spared from punishment.

In a separate interview, DepEd 7 Director Salustiano Jimenez said they already submitted the result of their investigation to the agency’s central office in Metro Manila.

Jimenez said they were able to verify that the laptops being sold at HMR Cebu in Mandaue City were not issued to teachers under his jurisdiction.

“Based on the store’s statement, their supplier is from Manila. So, we stopped there because we do not have any jurisdiction outside Central Visayas,” he said.

Lim said they already raised the matter to ACT Party-list Rep. Frances Castro, but they have yet to receive any feedback.

Still selling laptops

In an interview on Friday, a concerned citizen who earlier reported the matter to SunStar Cebu said the same surplus shop was still selling the laptops.

He said his friend went to the shop and inquired about the laptops and was told these were still available.

In October, the concerned citizen had approached SunStar Cebu regarding the laptop he bought from HMR Cebu that had noticeable markings that had been partially scraped when it was supposed to be brand new. Its speaker also had the DepEd’s “Sulong EduKalidad” sticker.

The packaging of the headset also bore DepEd’s slogan and project “Procurement of DCP Packages” markings.

“DCP” stands for Department of Education Computerization Program, the agency’s program aimed to provide public school teachers with appropriate technologies to enhance their teaching-learning process as part of the implementation of the K-12 program.

Following SunStar Cebu’s report on the issue, HMR Cebu reportedly removed all mention of the laptops on its social media page. (HIC, JKV)