Zambo del Sur mayor faces graft for overpriced, expired medicines
A former Zamboanga Del Sur mayor was indicted by the Ombudsman for graft over the anomalous procurement of overpriced and expired medicines.
In a statement on Thursday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said she found probable cause to charge former Molave Mayor Flavio Saniel Jr. and his Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) members Marcos Bahinting, Melita delos Santos, Gasmelba Felicitas, Nikki Omboy, Jerry delos Santos, Martin Blanco, Jr., Lina Lou Gitalan and Eleuterio Galleto, for violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The Ombudsman said the respondents caused undue injury to government in the anomalous procurement of P1.8 million worth of medicines in 2009.
The graft charges stemmed from the findings of the Commission on Audit in 2012 exposing the sham bidding.
The Ombudsman said the invitation to bid lacked pertinent details, such as the approved budget of contract, date of opening of bids and list of eligibility requirements.
Because of the flawed bidding process, the supplier delivered expired medicines worth P587,068.40.
The Ombudsman also noted that the medicines were overpriced by P997,193.60.
The Commission on Audit also noted that the vitamin A capsules worth P645,620 were distributed free of charge by the Department of Health.
Overall, the anomalies surrounding the procurement resulted in the ghost deliveries of medicines worth P1,292,254.80, the Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman also scored the haste in the manner of bidding. The office noted that the medicines were paid for, delivered and inspected a day after the bidding even though the bidders come all the way from Parañaque, Quezon City and Pasay City.
Saniel and the others stand accused of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the anti-graft law, which 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 administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. RAM