Ex-Romblon mayor charged with graft over anomalous irrigation project | Inquirer News
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Ex-Romblon mayor charged with graft over anomalous irrigation project

/ 02:18 PM December 11, 2015

A former Romblon mayor was charged before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged anomalous bidding of a small-scale irrigation project worth P9 million.

In a statement Friday, the Ombudsman said said it filed graft charges against former Looc municipal mayor Juliet Ngo-Fiel for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

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Also charged with graft are members of the Bids and Awards Committee: Solomon Gregorio, Renato Saludaga, Jessie Jomadiao, Wilma Pastor and Rolando Gregorio.

The charges stemmed from a rehabilitation of the Small Water Impounding project of the municipality.

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In 2007, then mayor Fiel received a P9 million grant for the project and awarded the contract to lone bidder R.G. Florentino Construction and Trading (RG Florentino) with a contract price of P8.99 million.

But the Commission on Audit found several irregularities in the bidding, such as lack of certificate of availability of funds; publication for the invitation to bid was paid for by the contractor; non-posting of the invitation to bid in the PhilGEPS; and no valid bid security submitted.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said “the circumstances readily show that respondents conspired and connived with one another in awarding the project.”

The respondents claimed good faith, saying the municipality was “cash strapped” when it relied on R.G. Florentino to pay for the publication cost of the invitation to bid.

Ombudsman Morales said “by committing manifest irregularities during the bidding process, respondent BAC members paved the way for the grant of unwarranted benefits, advantage and preference to R.G. Florentino Construction and Trading.”

The Ombudsman earlier dismissed Ngo-Fiel in August 2015 in a related administrative case.

Section 3(e) of the antigraft law prohibits public officials from causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.

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TAGS: antigraft law, bidding, Bids and Awards Committee, charges, Commission On Audit, Conchita Carpio-Morales, Graft, Irrigation, Ombudsman, project, romblon, Sandiganbayan
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