BuCor officials face graft raps over anomalous bidding
The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to file multiple graft charges against former officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) over an alleged anomalous bidding for the construction of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
In a statement on Tuesday, Ombudsman said former BuCor Acting Director Gaudencio Pangilinan and Chief Administrative Officer Ligaya Dador are facing five counts of violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Pangilinan and administrative officer Larry Hari are also facing one count of violation of Section 65 (4) of R.A. No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Also facing charges for violation of Section 3(e) are Chief of Staff Venancio Santidad, together with representatives of suppliers Grand Potential Press Inc. and Dotgain Solutions, identified as Alman Madrid, Lawrence Balolong, Julita Balolong, Alex Del Rosario, Alicia Madrid, Nelson Lee Cheng, Gina Rabancos and Paulino Fernandez, Jr.
Pangilinan, Dador, Hari and Santidad were also found administratively liable for Grave Misconduct and were ordered dismissed from the service with perpetual disqualification from reemployment in the government service.
Since the three were no longer connected with BuCor, the Ombudsman said the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to one year’s salary.
In 2012, the Ombudsman found out that “respondents divided and split into four contracts, the project for the construction of the National Bilibid Prison building for the purpose of evading the requirement of public bidding.”
The agency said P1.4-million infrastructure project was awarded through small value procurement, to preferred suppliers, Grand Potential and Dotgain.
The Ombudsman investigation also uncovered that during BuCor’s road map launch, Pangilinan and the other respondents spent P2.3 million to cover expenses for food, giant tarpaulins and tents by resorting to emergency purchase instead of bidding.
“There was no compelling reason to dispense with competitive bidding nor resort to small value procurement,” the Ombudsman said.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said “there is no evidence that BuCor attempted to ensure the most advantageous price for the government.”
In October 2015, the Sandiganbayan convicted Santidad, a former DOTC Director for Procurement, with 21 counts of falsification of public documents over the anomalous utilization of the pork barrel of the late Isabela Representative Antonio Abaya for the procurement of 21 vehicles. CDG
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