North Cotabato gov Mendoza faces graft rap | Inquirer News

North Cotabato gov Mendoza faces graft rap

/ 08:41 AM April 08, 2016
North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza  PHOTO FROM www.cotabatoprov.gov.ph

North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza PHOTO FROM www.cotabatoprov.gov.ph

North Cotabato governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, who received flak for her sentiments over the bloody Kidapawan farmers’ dispersal, was indicted by the Ombudsman for graft over an anomalous procurement of fuel purchased from a gas station owned by her mother.

In a statement on Friday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said she found probable cause to charge Mendoza for three counts of graft or violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

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The Ombudsman said Mendoza authorized the release of P2.4 million from the provincial funds to pay for 49,526.72 liters of fuel used for one road grader and four dump trucks utilized during the two-day road rehabilitation projects.

But no public bidding was conducted, and instead the provincial government directly contracted for fuel with the gas station owned by Mendoza’s mother.

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Mendoza said it was only the Taliño Shell Station which was “willing to accommodate the credit term requested by the provincial government.”

But Morales said “there was no compelling justification for dispensing with the requirement of public bidding.”

The Ombudsman said “the great disparity between the estimated 552 liters of diesel actually consumed for the two-day road maintenance project in Magpet vis-à-vis the 20,833 liters actually paid for, is proof that the fuel-purchase transaction is illegal and that this transaction is obviously a scheme to pocket government funds.”

“(Respondent) made it appear that the diesel fuel was procured and used in a government project when in truth, only a small portion of the fuel was actually used and the rest was converted to cash for the benefit of those who were involved in the fraudulent transaction,” Morales added.

Under Section 3(e) of the anti-graft law, a public officer is prohibited 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.
‘Politics’ in Kidapawan clash

Governor Mendoza received flak on social media for her sentiments in criticizing politicians who were donating sacks of rice to the farmer protesters and who were using North Cotabato as a political “staging ground.”

“Bigla kayong darating, magbibigay ng bigas? Nang-i-insulto ba kayo o namumulitiko kayo?” Mendoza reportedly said.

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(Suddenly you emerge, giving out sacks of rice? Are you insulting or politicizing?)

READ: Duterte curses N. Cotabato’s Mendoza on ‘politicizing’ Kidapawan incident

The police on April 1 fired at the farmer protesters, killing three farmers, one of which was shot in close range while raising his hands, and injuring hundreds of others.

READ: North Cotabato governor:  Police made call to disperse farmers in Kidapawan City

The police fought back with bullets after protesters threw rocks and blocked the highway to demand rice subsidy and assistance from government.

The violent dispersal raised a flurry of criticisms from netizens against Mendoza for saying the local government was not remiss in providing rice subsidy to farmers.

During the Senate fact-finding hearing in Davao city on Thursday, Mendoza denied ordering the violent dispersal of farmers, with senators claiming the law does not allow the police to be armed during rally dispersals. CDG

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TAGS: Conchita Carpio-Morales, Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, Farmers, Graft, Kidapawan, Ombudsman, procurement
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