Senate panel issues subpoena vs ex-LTO, German firm execs over alleged anomalous IT deal ​

The Senate blue ribbon committee has issued a subpoena compelling former Land Transportation Office (LTO) top officials and executives of Dermalog, a German contractor involved in the alleged anomalous information technology (IT) project. 
This was after Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, one of the senators who sought an investigation into the LTO’s P3.15-billion IT contract with Dermalog, made a motion to subpoena the resource persons following Senators Grace Poe and Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito complaints they cannot gather sufficient information on the issue, during the panel’s hearing on Thursday, June 8.
No official of Dermalog, except their legal counsel,  was present during the hearing.
The hearing was called by the panel in response to Pimentel’s filing of Senate Resolution No. 147, calling on the panel to conduct an inquiry on the alleged undue payment given by the LTO to the joint venture of Dermalog Identification System, Holy Family Printing Corp. Microgenesis and Verzontal Builders, which stemmed from a 2021 Commission on Audit (COA) report.
During the hearing, senators questioned the “generosity” of the LTO in allowing the payment of P1.066-billion in October last year to the foreign firm despite the fact that the LTO “recognized that the ‘Go Live’ (project), under the supposedly new LTO-IT system program,  is not yet possible in the months to come.”
Lawmakers noted that the percentage of completion of the IT project LTO-Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) stood at 34 percent when it should already be at 41 percent.
The LTMS is part of the P3.19-billion Road IT Infrastructure project that was awarded to the joint venture of Dermalog and its local partners in May 2018. 
Ejercito raised concerns why the agency changed its IT system provider, from STRADCOM Corp. to the German IT contractor Dermalog Identification System.
“It’s really disturbing... that there were really shortcomings on the part of Dermalog – they could not deliver -  but we are already paying,” Ejercito said, noting an instance when the LTO had already paid for the maintenance of undelivered software.
Blue ribbon committee chairman, Sen. Francis Tolentino warned Dermalog’s legal counsel, that he may be cited in contempt should his principals fail to appear before the Senate in the next hearing.