MANILA, Philippines ? The suspension of Muntinlupa City Mayor Aldrin San Pedro and 24 other officials has been recommended by a former city official for their alleged failure to respond promptly to charges of plunder and graft filed with the Office of the Ombudsman.
In a six-page motion, Ariel Dolleton, a former city government department head, said San Pedro and the other respondents had not responded before deadline to complaints alleging anomalous infrastructure projects worth P238 million.
The Ombudsman gave the officials 10 days to submit their counter-affidavits.
In his plunder and graft complaints, Dolleton accused the San Pedro administration of implementing 11 overpriced infrastructure projects without proper bidding.
Dolleton said city legal counsel Michale Racelis asked for an extension of the Ombudsman deadline on behalf of the respondents. But Dolleton said the lawyer had no authority to do so.
The complainant said Racelis was prohibited under the law to represent any of the respondents in the criminal case.
Among the projects Dolleton cited in his complaint were road repair work in Barangay Tunasan, sidewalk improvements in Barangay Alabang and Tunasan, upgrading of streetlights along Susana Heights in Tunasan and Barangay Bayanan, and the construction of a water tank and a bus landing terminal in Tunasan.
Dolleton alleged no bidding was done for the projects and the respondents did not post notices of award before proceeding with the projects, contrary to the procurement law. He alleged that procurement and bidding procedures were done in only one day, on Sept. 17, 2007.
Charged with San Pedro were Councilors Robert Abas, Joselito Arevalo, Rey Bulay, Allan Camilon, Marita Deang-Calalang, Ma. Luisa Babaran-Echavez, Icasiano dela Rea, Melchor Teves, Margarita Patdu-Labios, Francis Bagatsing, Luvi Constantino, Marissa Cole-Rongavilla, Mamerto Sevilla Jr., Vergel Ulanday, Manuel Solomon and Christian Lorica; city treasurer Nelia Barlis, accountant Edwin Suitado, budget officer Avelino Orellana and members of the Bids and Awards Committee.