Muntinlupa mayor asked to reply to graft raps

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MANILA, Philippines—The mayor of Muntinlupa  and 34 other persons have been asked by the Ombudsman to answer allegations of a multimillion “ghost purchase” and seven “ghost projects” by the city government in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012.

In a directive from the Office of the Ombudsman orders received by city hall officials this month, Mayor Aldrin San Pedro and Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac, among many others, were directed to file their counteraffidavits within 10 days as the preliminary investigation into the graft complaints were set to begin.

The directive, issued by Assistant Ombudsman Marilou B. Ancheta-Mejica on Dec. 19, was an offshoot of a 62-page complaint filed by the Ombudsman’s field investigation office, represented by Ronald Allan Ramos, in September last year.

The complaint was based on an exposé made by former city Bids and Awards Committee secretariat head Abel Sumabat in May last year of an alleged P9,820,000 ghost procurement by the city government of coco lumber in 2007 and 2008, and seven ghost projects entered into by the city government in 2011 and 2012 amounting to a total of P8, 225, 917.

Sumabat alleged that the city government “converted” the projects into cash. In a phone interview, he explained that the respondents would draw up papers for projects and purchases, withdraw a budget for it, then use dummy suppliers who would only get a cut then return the encashed payments to city officials.

Also included as respondents in the complaint were 13 former and incumbent councilors, and 20 others who are city officials, members of the city BAC and Technical Working Group, and owners of private suppliers Nosotros Trading, Antor General Merchandise, Rey and Grace General Trading and Merilla General Merchandise.

The Ombudsman complaint asked that the respondents be charged criminally with graft, direct bribery, violation of the Government Procurement Act, and falsification by public officers; and the public officials to be also charged administratively for grave misconduct, falsification of public documents and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

It also asked that the public respondents be placed under preventive suspension while the Ombudsman investigation was underway.

In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer last week, Mayor Aldrin San Pedro said he received the notices for his counteraffidavit a week prior, but said he left it to his lawyer, and fellow respondent Michael Racelis of the city BAC, to respond to the Ombudsman orders.

San Pedro said he was not sure if the counteraffidavit has been filed, but the mayor shrugged off the recent complaint as “politicking,” in light of the upcoming May elections, and with two administrative complaints against him dismissed last month.

“The rumor was I was going to be preventively suspended. Instead, complaints against me were dismissed,” San Pedro said.

“Just because there’s a complaint doesn’t mean you’re guilty. The Ombudsman accepts all [complaint] filings. But the perception is if there is a case against you in the Ombudsman, you’re guilty. I actually want the investigation to be concluded quickly so we know who’s really telling the truth,” the mayor said.

On the alleged ghost projects, San Pedro simply said, “All their allegations are properly answered,” claiming that the Department of Interior and Local Government had once issued a report validating the existence of the projects.

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  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Baka ginamit pambili ng franchise ng burjer………

  • huseng_batute

    Ewan ko ba kung bakit ang palengke ng Muntinlupa abot sa gitna ng kalsada.  Tapos yung mga jeep ginagawang terminal ang ilalim ng viaduct. Taga-assist pa nila yung mga naka-green na traffic enforcers.  Palagi tuloy buhol-buhol ang traffic dun.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AXUCOGVE23RC6PSVQMT6VGSC3E Mitch

    Why did the reporter choose to highlight the ombudsman complaint against Mayor San Pedro? There are hundreds of complaints in the Ombudsman against mayors and governors
    mostly belonging to LP but the reporter did no report on them.  Why This case? Shouldn’t the editors be more discerning Mr Publisher? I hope the Inquirer reporter focus on other complaints in the Ombudsman for “balanced news”

  • http://twitter.com/rachellebalse rachelle balse

    Note to Inquirer. Anybody can file a complaint. This is not news worthy at this point. why don’t
    you wait for the Ombudssman to decide whether the charges have basis  or not.?

  • Guest

    Obviously a demolition job hatched by Customs Chairman Rufi Biazon. For those not in the
    know, Rufi has staged a vilification campaign against Mayor San Pedro since Biazon is supporting Fresnedi in 2013. With all the money of Biazon from BOC. No wonder he can afford to pay this reporter and highlight a mere complaint.

  • Lheg Nedraw

    same way that the corrupt mayor has the money and connection to block this kind of news….the people of muntinlupa needs to know the truth…and this news is a welcome and good read…

  • Lheg Nedraw

    let us hear the word of their partner in crime turn state witness… this is just one of the many cases filed in ombudsman on the corrupt mayor

  • PR_almendras

    Yung dating pio ni san pedro na si omar acosta  ang may pakana niyan kasi nung nawala sa cityhall yan, ang balita sa boc dumikit na ng todo ke ruffy b yan

  • Guest

     The Corrupt Father & Son tandem of San Pedro ang umubos sa KABAN ng BAYAN … Hindi si Ruffy Biazon ang kalaban nyo sa MAYOR, bakit nung kakampi nyo sila last election HINDI nyo naman tinitira ?  Ang katotohanan nyan MARAMI na sa MUNTINLUPA ang AYAW sa PANGUNGURAKOT ng MGA SAN PEDRO … Dapat na silang mawala at pagbayarin sa KASALANAN nila sa mga taga MUNTINLUPA

  • Guest

    Talagang desperado na ang mag amang San Pedro kita nyo lahat ng umaalis na kakampi nila SINISIRAAN…  The people of Muntinlupa needs HELP, free us from the ABUSIVE and CORRUPT SAN PEDRO REGIME

  • GreenChickenDown

     Kaya lang naman na de delay ang KASO ng Mayor na ito dahil sa koneksyon nya sa kamaganak ni Omb Morales,  koneksyon nya sa chief of staff ni BINAY,  at kung sino sinong padrino.. Sa totoo lang, dapat na itong isunod kay Gob Garci, sapagkat noon pa sya dapat na SUSPINDE nung time pa dapat ni Omb Guttierez kaya mahal namin pangulo sana’y maituwid nyo na po ang maling pamamalakad sa Muntinlupa, Sobra ang korupsyon na nangyayari sa Mayor na ito at ang pakialamerong nyang ama..

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