Ex-Camarines Norte gov charged anew over 2004 farm project
Former Camarines Norte Governor Jesus Typoco Jr. has been charged again in the Sandiganbayan, this time over the purchase of P1-million worth of seeds without public bidding in 2004.
The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon filed two counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Typoco and four other erstwhile provincial officials.
The said provision prohibits public officials from causing undue injury to the government and giving unwarranted benefits to a private party.
The charges were raffled off on Friday to the court’s Second Division.
According to the charges, the provincial government awarded on May 13 and 14, 2004 two separate contracts worth P499,917 and P499,750 to MDB Agrovet and General Merchandise for the supply of Pilipinas Kaneko vegetable seeds.
However, state prosecutors said the province resorted to direct contracting without any resolution from the bids and awards committee recommending the procurement method.
The charges noted that MDB was not an exclusive distributor of the vegetable seeds.
Prosecutors also said the officials issued a purchase request and purchase order simultaneously for the two contracts on Feb. 24, 2004 and March 11, 2004.
The issuances were allegedly irregular because they occurred prior to the execution of the memoranda of agreement governing the release of the funds for the purchases in April 2004.
The provincial officials were faulted for processing and certifying the payment to MDB “despite knowledge that the transaction was marred with irregularities.”
Besides Typoco, also charged with two counts of graft were then-provincial accountant Maribeth Malaluan, assistant provincial treasurer Lorna Agot Coreses, provincial agriculturist Rodolfo Salamero, and general service office officer-in-charge Jose Rene Ruidera.
Prosecutors recommended that bail be set at P60,000 for each accused. The charge sheets were signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on June 5 but were only brought to the court on July 14.
This was the second time Typoco was charged this year in the Sandiganbayan over allegedly anomalous agricultural projects awarded 13 years ago.
In March, he was charged with one count of graft for purchasing P4-million worth of branded Hexaplus Liquid Fertilizer from Hexaphil Agriventures, Inc., without the benefit of public bidding in March 2004.
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