Davao Sur gov faces graft rapsBy Cynthia Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft charges against Gov. Benjamin Bautista and five other officials of Davao del Sur for allegedly conspiring to purchase five vehicles without public bidding.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the filing of four separate graft cases before the Sandiganbayan against Bautista, provincial accountant Richard Martel, general services officer Alla Putong, treasurer Abel Guinares, budget officer Victoria Mier and Sangguniang Panglalawigan member Edgar Gan following the finding of probable cause against them.
In the first case, the complaint alleged that on Jan. 24, 2003, in Matti, Digos City, the six accused, all members of the provincial government’s Local Bids and Awards Committee, conspired, with “evident bad faith, manifest partiality, or at the very least, gross inexcusable negligence,” to unlawfully procure two Toyota Hilux vehicles without public bidding.
It said the accused specified the brand name of the vehicles in the purchase request in violation of the procurement laws, thereby denying the provincial government the opportunity to find suitable substitutes of the same quality and obtain the most advantageous offer. This gave “unwarranted benefit, advantage, or preference to Toyota Davao City Inc.,” the Ombudsman charged.
In the second case, the respondents allegedly did the same thing for the purchase of a Mitsubishi L300 Exceed (DX2500 diesel).