Bulacan local execs face raps for alleged overpriced gov’t center
A local chief executive of a city in the province of Bulacan is facing charges of plunder and other criminal cases filed under the Office of the Ombudsman because of the alleged overpriced construction of a new government center building in the City.
In a 15 page complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman, Mayor Reynaldo San Pedro of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, and 16 other individuals allegedly amassed, accumulated and acquired ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series of overt criminal acts.
Besides Mayor San Pedro, Acting City Engineer Arnel Vitug, City Administrator Eduard Ignacio, City Budget Officer Ana Sucgang, City Legal Officer and Bids and Awards Committee Head Arnel Antero, BAC Secretary Head Debbie Ann Leuterio, City Treasurer Analiza Mendiola, Engineer Leonardo Nicolas as Consultant to the Mayor, and private individuals Mariano Arce and Ma. Nina Bailon-Arce of Arce Bailon-Arce Architectural firm, Joselito Rami Encabo, Carina Encabo, Delia Teves, Cara Maria Encabo, Maria Camir Encabo, Emmalyn Encabo and Melgabal Encabo of RR Encabo Contructors, Incorporated were also charged being the conspirators in the said plunder case.
In the same complaint, Mayor San Pedro et.al. are also being charged with the violation of Republic Act 3019 otherwise known as Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the violation of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The case was filed by Romeo Agapito, a resident and an incumbent member of the City Council of San Jose del Monte Bulacan.
Agapito claims that Mayor San Pedro through his City Hall Officials already release an amount of more than 130 million pesos that includes 14.5 million pesos awarded to Arce Bailon-Arce Consultancy for the payment of an anomalous New City Hall Master Plan, 43 million pesos as 15 percent mobilization fund for the initial construction of the building and another 24 million pesos for the so-called 2nd billing.
According to Agapito, there are irregularities in the procurement of the consulting service of Arce Bailon-Arce amounting to 14.5 million because there were already one that was procured during the time of former Mayor Eduardo Roquero only in the amount of 3.9 million pesos.
“They wasted our people’s money. The amount used in paying the architects for a new master plan can help our less fortunate residents who are in dire need for their difficulties and for other social services,” Agapito said.
But San Pedro and his cohorts continued with their plan to amass wealth and suck-drain the coffers of the City by proceeding with the main project which is the construction of the new Government Center that is excessively overpriced and grossly disadvantageous to the government.
In the original plan, former City Engineer Rufino Gravador proposed that the amount of the construction of the 4-storey Government Center is closed to 300 million pesos. But with the turned of events including the untimely death of Mayor Roquero, the amount of the said project is now bloated and it is being projected close to more than half a billion pesos.
Agapito added, “Engineer Gravador refused to adopt the bloated computations being pushed by Mayor San Pedro and with his refusal to accept illicit offers, he was constructively dismissed and re-assigned as City Agriculturist without any valid reason which is in violation of Civil Service rules,” he said.
“The construction of our new government center must be stop. Mayor San Pedro and his cohorts are continually spending government funds for a seriously disadvantageous contract,” Agapito said.
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