Ombudsman files graft charges vs ex-governors of Nueva Ecija, Cam. Norte | Inquirer News

Ombudsman files graft charges vs ex-governors of Nueva Ecija, Cam. Norte

05:08 PM June 01, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—The Office of the Ombudsman filed criminal charges against former governors of Nueva Ecija and Camarines Norte and other ranking provincial officials before Sandiganbayan.

In separate resolutions approved by Acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro, former governor Tomas N. Joson III, incumbent Bongabon Mayor Amelia Gamilla and former Mayor Eduardo Basilio Joson were charged with criminal case for two counts of violation of Section 3 of Anti-Graft and Corrupt and Practice Act or Republic Act (RA) 3019.

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The charges were based on the report of Public Affairs Monitoring Office (PAMO) head Dr. Raymond Sarmiento that the former governor allegedly passed a resolution to donate heavy equipment to the local governments of Quezon, San Leonardo, Bongabon, Guimba, Talugtug and other municipalities.

“In direct contravention of the Board Resolution, aside from heavy equipment units, two luxury vehicles were included in the donation to Bongabon town, while the provincial mobile clinic, a Toyota Revo, a Ford F150 and a Nissan Urvan were donated to the municipality of Quezon whose local chief executives are alleged to be ‘allies’ of Joson,” the resolution stated.

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“It is undisputed that the above donations made by respondent Joson III constitute the act of giving said municipalities unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference in the discharge of his function to the prejudice of the provincial government of Nueva Ecija,” the Ombudsman stated in the resolution.

In a separate case, Casimiro ordered the filing of charges against former officials of Camarines Norte including former Governor Jesus Typoco, Jr., Provincial Health Officer Arnulfo Salagoste, General Services Office OIC Noel Reyes, General Services Office Buyer II Aida Pandeagua, and Angelina Cabrera, owner-representative of Cabrera’s Drugstore and Medical Supply in Daet, Camarines Norte, for violation of Section 3 of RA 3019 and Information for Falsification of Public Document.

The case was filed after the issue of the ghost and overpriced purchase of medicines made by the provincial government of Camarines Norte using public funds amounting to P1.6M.

Records of the anti-graft office showed that on April 21, 2005, a purchase order (PO) for the said medicines was placed in favor of Cabrera’s Drugstore and Medical Supply even before the opening of bids conducted one month later, on May 18, 2005. A Notice of Award was issued in favor of Cabrera’s Drugstore on May 20, 2005.

The 22-page Resolution stated that “clearly from the foregoing circumstances the complainant established the fact that unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference had been extended to Cabrera’s Drugstore and Medical Supply.”

The government of Camarines Norte headed by Typoco allegedly made Cabrera’s Drugstore and Medical Supply the supplier of the province.—Carissa Caraig, Contributor

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