COMELEC scrutinizes ownership of F2 Logistics

  • The Commission on Elections is looking into ownership of F2 Logistics Philippines over complaints of conflict of interest
  • F2 Logistics owner Dennis Uy is a known ally of President Rodrigo Duterte who helped finance his presidential campaign in 2016
  • F2 Logistics submitted the lowest bid in a P1.61-billion COMELEC project to deploy election equipment, peripherals, forms, supplies, paraphernalia and conduct warehousing for the 2022 elections
  • The notice of award has not been awarded to F2 Logistics and a post-qualification review is ongoing

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is looking into the ownership of F2 Logistics Philippines, Inc. to ensure no conflict of interest exists if it is awarded a P1.61-billion contract to transport 2022 election paraphernalia.

COMELEC chairman Sheriff Abas ordered the special bids and awards committee (SBAC) to check F2 Logistics’ connection to Dennis Uy, a known ally of President Rodrigo Duterte and who helped finance his presidential campaign in 2016.

F2 Logistics in July emerged as the lowest bidder for the COMELEC contract. It beat three other qualified firms out of a total of eight participating companies. As winning bidder, the company is expected to deliver equipment and supplies such as vote-counting machines (VCM), external batteries and accessories, consolidation or canvassing system machines, transmission equipment and devices, and ballots. The winning bidder will also be responsible for reverse logistics, or the transport of the materials.

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez on August 23 said there is no notice of award to F2 Logistics yet. He clarified the warehousing component of the project pertains only to the delivery, and that the VCMs have a separate warehouse.

In addition, Abas said a post-qualification review is still being carried out. He noted being an election campaign funder does not automatically disqualify a bidder. “‘Di naman automatic ‘yan dahil contributor siya eh disqualified na siya. Alam naman natin na karamihan ng mga negosyanteng mga malalaki, nag-ko-contribute naman ‘yan sa iba’t ibang mga [politiko]. Hindi naman ‘yan automatic,” Abas said.

(“It’s not automatic that being a contributor makes you disqualified. We know that many big businesses make contributions to politicians.”)

Civic groups and poll watchdogs earlier aired concern over a possible conflict of interest if F2 Logistics handles the project.

Senator Leila De Lima, a former election lawyer, recently filed Senate Resolution No. 855 urging Congress to investigate the awarding of the COMELEC contract to F2 Logistics. De Lima stressed the need to ensure election processes are free from even suspicions of cheating, manipulation, and irregularities by disqualifying suppliers with known links to identified political parties and possible candidates.

F2 Logistics Philippines was founded in 2006 by Efren E. Uy, who sits as its president and chief executive officer. F2 Logistics is listed as a joint venture with Udenna Management & Resources Corp., a subsidiary under Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. The two Uys are not related.

According to the 2020 annual report of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings, Inc. (CLC), also a subsidiary of Udenna Corp., Dennis Uy sits as chairman of F2 Logistics while his spouse, Cherylyn, is corporate treasurer.

Efren Uy has been a CLC director since 2017.

It must be noted that F2 Logistics is not new to the delivery of elections equipment and supplies. The company in 2018 was awarded the contract to deliver election paraphernalia for the 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.