Ex-mayor files plunder case vs Bohol gov
TAGBILARAN CITY––A former mayor of Bohol has filed a plunder complaint against Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap and other provincial officials over alleged irregularities in various transactions.
In a 28-page complaint, Dan Neri Lim requested the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate and hold Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap and other provincial officials liable for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Lawyer Nilo Ahat, the Bohol legal officer, said they had yet to receive a copy of the complaint.
“We won’t back down. We are ready to answer (the allegations) once we receive a hard copy of the complaint,” said Ahat.
For Yap, the complaint against him was a strategy to destroy his name.
“I am not surprised with that considering that the elections draw near. I will continue working for the people and face these challenges,” said Yap in a text message to the Inquirer.
Named respondents in the complaint were Yap, provincial administrator Kathryn Pioquinto, members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), and other officials of the Bohol administration.
Lim claimed that from Sept. 22 to 24, 2020, the Bohol provincial government and the Department of Tourism held the National Philippine Tourism Expo 2020 (Phitex2020).
To cover the live telecast and broadcasting of the entire event, the provincial government contracted the services of Active Events Equipment Rentals (AEER).
Based on the bidding documents, the contract was made through negotiated canvass and was awarded on Nov. 6, 2020 and released on Nov. 11, 2020, way after the conduct of the event.
“There was no contract yet when the provincial government used the services of the company,” Lim said.
He said AEER is owned by Ae Damalerio, the former political campaign manager of Yap and the former head of the Provincial Emergency COVID-19 Response Management Team.
While there were negotiated canvasses to justify the procurement, Lim said the provincial government favored AEER.
Another controversy, Lim said, was the conduct of the Ube Festival in January 2021 when the provincial government, through its BAC, contracted the services of Ompoi Disco Mobile (ODM).
According to Lim, ODM was represented by the daughter-in-law of Larry Pamugas, a BAC member.
Lim said the provincial government also purchased commercial rice instead of buying it from local farmers to support the agricultural sector during the pandemic.
The former mayor said the provincial government of Bohol, through the Provincial Engineer’s Office, purchased fuel from Petrobest worth P5.5 million.
It was shown that the prices of fuel were pegged at P61.48 or P62.49 per liter, which were higher than the prevailing prices of P46 to P48 per liter.