Capiz gov, son sacked for alleged P3M extortion
Capiz Governor Victor Tanco Sr. and his son were dismissed from service for allegedly extorting P3 million from a contractor in exchange for a hospital project.
In a statement on Thursday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales also meted out the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancelation of eligibility and forfeiture of retirement benefits.
Morales likewise found probable cause to charge Tanco and his son, Security Officer III Vladimir Tanco, with graft for the alleged extortion.
In his testimony to the Ombudsman, Leodegario Labao Jr. of Kirskat Venture (Kirskat) alleged that on Sept. 19, 2011, the governor sent his son to Labao’s office and demanded a P3 million payment in exchange for the release of funds for a P32.9-million Mambusao District Hospital project.
Labao said he was threatened that his firm would be blacklisted as a contractor if he fails to pay the amount.
On Sept. 21, 2011, Labao said he complied with the demand and delivered a check for P3 million with the notation “Mambusao Hospital SOP (standard operating procedure)” to the governor’s residence. SOP is another term for grease money to facilitate anomalous government transactions.
The check was deposited and credited to the account of the governor’s son Vladimir, the Ombudsman said.
On Oct. 24, 2011, the governor’s office issued a P2.2-million check representing 15 percent of its mobilization fund to Kirskat.
The Ombudsman found credence in Labao’s testimony because the governor failed to support his defense that the check for Labao was only a loan.
“(T)he claims of the complainant were duly supported by the evidence on record, specifically: the signed check voucher; check issued by the complainant which was subsequently deposited to the account of Vladimir; and the affidavits of witnesses which ‘[demonstrate] respondents’ corrupt intent,” Ombudsman Morales said.
Morales sacked Tanco and his son after having been found guilty of the administrative offense of grave misconduct, characterized by the existence of corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of an established rule.
Morales said Tanco and his son should be charged with graft for violating Section 3(e) and 3(b) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
“The element of corruption is evident as respondents unlawfully and wrongfully used their position to procure some benefit for themselves, contrary to the rights of the complainant,” Morales said.
The antigraft law under Section 3(b) prohibits the receipt of any gift, money, or present, share, percentage or benefit by a public officer in connection with a contract or transaction with the government.
Meanwhile, the law under Section 3(e) prohibits public officials from causing any undue injury to any party, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his or her official functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. RAM