The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the preventive suspension of Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Annalyn M. Sevilla for six months, pending the investigation of the alleged overpriced laptops procured by the agency.
In an official statement released on August 25, 2023, DepEd said that it will comply with the order and respect the due process of law.
The statement also assured the public that the department’s services will not be affected by the suspension, as it prepares for the opening of School Year 2023-2024.
Sevilla is facing charges of graft and corruption, violation of the Anti-Red Tape Act, and administrative offenses for allegedly approving the purchase of laptops worth P1.9 billion, which were allegedly overpriced by P60,000 to P80,000 per unit.
The laptops were intended for the use of teachers and students under the blended learning modality amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The complaint was filed by a group of teachers and parents, who claimed that they found cheaper and better quality laptops in the market.
They also accused Sevilla of favoring a certain supplier, who allegedly delivered substandard and defective laptops.
Sevilla has denied the allegations, saying that she followed the proper procurement process and that the laptops met the specifications and standards set by DepEd. She also said that she is ready to face the charges and clear her name.