Ombudsman slaps Bataan governor with anti-graft case
MANILA, Philippines—Acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro approved the filing of a criminal case against Bataan Governor Enrique T. Garcia Jr., and several others for the questionable purchase of a motor boat.
In a Resolution, acting Ombudsman Orlando C. Casimiro ordered that Garcia be charged with violation of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Aso charged were Rodolfo De Mesa, provincial administrator; Imelda Inieto, agriculturist; Alicia Magpantay, accountant; Emerlinda Talento, treasurer; Ludivina Banzon, government assistant department head; Godofredo De Guzman, OIC department head, environment and natural resources; Pedro Baluyot, supply Officer III; Angelina Villanueva, management and audit analyst IV (resigned); Francisco Caparas, local treasury operations officer I; Enrico Yuson, department head, provincial general services office; Evangeline Diaz, department head, provincial general services office (retired); Danilo Abrera, agriculturist II and private individual Ernesto Asistin, Jr.
De Mesa, Inieto, Magpantay, Talento, Banzon, Yuzon, Diaz, De Guzman, Baluyot, Caparas and Abrera were also found guilty of grave misconduct and dishonesty, and were sentenced to be dismissed from government service.
Records showed that the Bataan Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force (BPAIFTF) requested a patrol boat on June 8, 2005. The request was made by agriculturist Inieto.
Complainants Nestor Palomania and Alexander Caturao and the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office (FIO) alleged that respondents conspired with one another, and with Asistin, to buy the patrol boat unlawfully for P142,500.
The complaint said Garcia and the others awarded the bid contract to Asistin, who was a non-qualified supplier.
The complaint said the documentary evidence showed a handwritten alteration was made in the contract agreement, notice of award and notice to proceed, to change the specifications of the boat from six-cylinders to four-cylinders.
Worse, the boat was never delivered.
“We are convinced that the transaction with Asistin, who is not a bonafide supplier, was carried out by the respondents with working knowledge of the ensuing irregularities and the consequences that would follow. This is a demonstration of bad faith, and a clear display of gross negligence,” the Ombudsman ruling said.
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