Ex-Meycauayan mayor charged over P4.55-M ghost projects
A former mayor of Meycauayan City, Bulacan, Joan Alarilla, has been slapped with dozens of criminal charges before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly rigging the procurement for P4.55-million worth of construction materials for what turned out to be ghost projects in 2007.
State prosecutors charged Alarilla with one count of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and 33 counts of malversation through falsification.
Prosecutors recommended that bail be fixed at P6.63 million.
The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon accused Alarilla of causing undue injury to the government and giving unwarranted benefits to L.C. San Pascual Construction Supply and VSP Trading and General Merchandise.
The 33 contracts were allegedly awarded to the two suppliers without public bidding. Alarilla also allegedly resorted to the splitting of contracts in violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act and other pertinent rules.
Prosecutors also accused Alarilla of failing to validate the veracity of the disbursement vouchers when she allegedly facilitated the payment of the public funds to the two contractors.
She even allowed her now-deceased husband, former mayor and then-general counsel Eduardo Alarilla, to certify the correctness and legality of the payment claims, according to the charge sheet.
Alarilla also allegedly falsified requests for price quotation and other documents from Mario-Zen Enterprises, which turned out not to have participated as a bidder for the city government projects.
The projects were not actually implemented, according to the multiple charge sheets for malversation through falsification.
The unimplemented projects include the construction of nine artesian wells, a perimeter fence, a multipurpose hall, a motor pool, a dumpsite, a city nursery.
Also unimplemented were 12 road concreting projects, the repair of four basketball courts, the repair and painting of the ceiling at the vice mayor’s office, and the dredging of the Meycauayan River.
One ghost project even pertained to the purchase of P46,656 worth of T-shirts to be used by the city’s meat butchers.
In March, the Ombudsman announced Alarilla’s dismissal and lifetime ban from public office.
She recently ran for representative of Bulacan’s 4th District. But she garnered only 16 percent of the votes.