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Ex-Capiz gov faces graft rap over vehicle purchase

Vicente Bermejo

ILOILO CITY—The Ombudsman has indicted for graft former Capiz Gov. Vicente Bermejo in relation to the purchase of vehicles amounting to P1.95 million.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved a resolution finding probable cause against Bermejo for violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), according to a statement posted on the Ombudsman’s website.

The Ombudsman accused Bermejo of violating procurement procedures and rules in the purchase of four vehicles by the provincial government when he was governor in 2007.

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The three Mitsubishi Pajero wagons and an Isuzu Manlift truck were acquired by Bermejo in a public auction held by the Phil-Pan Subic Ventures Inc. The former governor received a reimbursement in a check amounting to P1.95 million, according to the Ombudsman.

It said three of the four vehicles were given to the governments of Panay town and Roxas City, the provincial capital.

Bermejo could not be reached for comment as of Wednesday noon. The Ombudsman, in its statement, said the former governor failed to submit any counter-affidavit during the investigation.

The antigraft body said the acquisition of the vehicles did not comply with provisions of Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act).

“Bermejo as the approving authority of the purchases being the head of the procuring entity, acted with evident bad faith in purchasing the vehicles without a public bidding but through a public auction. Respondent ought to know the basic provisions of RA No. 9184, which require procurement to undergo either competitive bidding or any of the alternative modes and to implement the law to the letter. Yet, respondent utterly disregarded these established rules,” Morales said.

“The fact that the check intended for the payment of the vehicles is issued in
respondent’s name would further show the irregularity in the purchase. There is nothing in the records to justify why the check was not made directly to the seller,” Morales said.

Bermejo was mayor of Panay before he served three terms as governor from 1998 to 2007. He was mayor of Roxas City from 2007 to 2010 but lost in the 2010 elections to incumbent Mayor Alan Celino.

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TAGS: Capiz Gov. Vicente Bermejo, graft rap, Ombudsman, vehicle purchase
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