DOJ panel pushes raps vs Vizcaya governor | Inquirer News
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DOJ panel pushes raps vs Vizcaya governor

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:36 AM September 09, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — An anticorruption body created by President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to look into the possible liabilities of Nueva Vizcaya Gov. Carlos Padilla and other provincial officials regarding the allegedly anomalous P149 million worth of infrastructure projects in the province.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra submitted to Ombudsman Samuel Martires the results of the joint investigation conducted by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the National Bureau of Investigation on the supposed questionable transactions.

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Besides Padilla, the PACC and the NBI also recommended the filing of criminal and administrative charges against his wife, former Nueva Vizcaya Gov. Ruth Padilla, and the members of the provincial government’s bids and awards committee.

“The NBI received five audit observation memoranda from the Commission on Audit (COA) finding irregularities on the implementation of the said infrastructure projects, which are considered as violation of (the) procurement law,” Guevarra told Martires in a letter dated June 18, a copy of which was obtained by the Inquirer on Wednesday.

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Unfinished, delayed

He said the NBI was able to secure the testimonies of two witnesses who had “personal knowledge on the corrupt practices of Governor Padilla and officers of the provincial government.”

Guevarra, who was tasked by the president to head the Task Force Against Corruption, said the PACC discovered that some of the projects had yet to be finished while others had been delayed.

Among these, he said, were the construction of the Nueva Vizcaya Convention Center, the conference hall of Lower Magat Ecotourism Park and the improvement of the provincial capitol building.

Failure to renew license

The justice secretary said the contractor of the projects, Sharysu Builders & Marketing, was awarded with the contracts despite its failure to renew its license from the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board since 2007.

“Based on the foregoing, the PACC finds Governor Padilla, other provincial officials and (the contractor) criminally liable for violation of the (antigraft law) and … the government procurement (law),” Guevarra said.

He said the governor and his subordinates might also be held administratively for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to best the interest of the service.

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TAGS: Carlos Padilla, DoJ, Nueva Vizcaya anomalous projects, Nueva Vizcaya governor
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