Yap and Lorenzo’s P46-M fertilizer case goes to trial
The charges against former Agriculture Secretary Luis Lorenzo and former National Food Authority Administrator Arthur Yap in connection with the alleged lack of public bidding in the purchase of P46.45 million worth of fertilizers will head to trial.
In a 13-page resolution dated Sept. 25, the Special Sixth Division of the Sandiganbayan denied the motions of Lorenzo and Yap, now the representative of Bohol’s third district, seeking the dismissal of the charges.
‘Appropriate for trial’
The court said the charges were valid because they “clearly and accurately” stated the allegations against Lorenzo and Yap. It said the finer details on how their actions caused undue injury to the government were matters “appropriate for trial.”
Lorenzo and Yap, as well as Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp. (Philphos) representative Tomas Guibani, were charged with five counts of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
According to prosecutors, Lorenzo and Yap gave unwarranted benefits to Philphos by directing the regional bids and awards committees of five regions to purchase 92,158 bags of fertilizer through negotiated procurement, instead of competitive bidding. —VINCE F. NONATO
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