Solon charged with Tesda overprice

Syjuco, several others face criminal case for 2009 equipment purchases

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ILOILO CITY—The Office of the Ombudsman has filed criminal charges against former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General and now Iloilo 2nd district Rep. Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco Jr. in connection with the alleged P61-million overpricing in the purchase of Tesda training materials.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales signed a 52-page resolution on March 8 indicting Syjuco and 10 other respondents for three counts of violations of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), according to a statement issued on March 13 by the Ombudsman’s media affairs bureau.

Also charged with Syjuco were former Tesda Deputy Director General Rogelio Peyuan; directors Antonio Del Rosario, Ernesto Beltran and Teodoro Sanico; Western Visayas director Buen Mondejar; lawyer Marjorie Docdocil; Juanito Belda (chief administrative officer); Maximiano Montemayor (administrative officer); Francisco Fang (senior administrative assistant); and private respondent Vicente Roxas, president and chair of V.G. Roxas Co. Inc.

In a phone interview on Thursday, Syjuco slammed the Ombudsman’s decision as “baseless and done with undue haste” and part of “political persecution.”

Syjuco, who is seeking reelection in May, said the charges were filed 60 days before the elections and two weeks before the start of the campaign period for local candidates.

He said he is a “hero” rather than a “villain” since he had asked the National Bureau of Investigation to look into anomalies in Tesda.

The case against Syjuco started with a complaint filed in 2009 by the Public Services Labor Independent Confederation, a group of government workers alleging irregularities in the purchase of equipment for two Tesda programs—the Ladderized Education Program and Nordic Development Fund.

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