Echiverri indicted for graft over anomalous drainage project
Former Caloocan City Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri was indicted for graft over a drainage improvement project he awarded without the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has found probable cause to charge Echiverri with graft or violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Former city accountant Edna Centeno and city budget officer Jesusa Garcia were also indicted for graft and falsification of public documents.
Ombudsman investigation showed that in 2011, Echiverri awarded the contract for the improvement of the drainage system of Molave St. in Pleasantview Subdivision to E.V. & E Construction (EVEC) at a contract cost of P2.97million.
Echiverri is an outgoing Caloocan representative who lost his bid for mayor in the recent polls to Oscar Malapitan.
The Commission on Audit reported irregularities such as the lack of specific appropriation ordinance and approval by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP).
The auditors in 2013 issued a notice of disallowance to the city government.
Morales said she indicted Echiverri for graft because “without authority from the SP, Echiverri entered into a contract with EVEC which constituted an unwarranted benefit and privilege granted to a private party.”
Meanwhile, the Ombudsman also found guilty for the administrative offense of grave misconduct Centeno and Garcia who were thus perpetually disqualified from public office.
In case the penalty cannot be imposed due to separation from the service, it is convertible to a fine equivalent to the respondents’ one year salary.
Under Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019, public officials are 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. JE
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