Surigao solon indicted for graft for pork misuse
Former Surigao del Sur Second District Rep. Peter Paul Jed Falcon is set to be charged with graft for allegedly misusing P18.9 million in pork barrel funds on communications equipment that were not turned over to the town that purchased it.
In a resolution, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the filing of charges against Falcon and officials of Lingig town for one count of violation of Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act over various procurement anomalies.
Investigators found that Lingig town officials used Falcon’s Congressional Initiative Fund to buy the communications equipment and accessories in 2007, according to a news release.
State auditors, however, discovered that the town did not receive the equipment.
Because of this, the Commission on Audit issued two notices of disallowance covering the following: 36 sets long-range radio/telephone, mother base, nine units handsets, 10 units battery chargers, 10 units chargeable batteries, 10 units telephone jackets, one unit connector, umbrella-type antenna with cable, operating manuals and 35 sets of super long range, cordless radio/telephone double base with cable and umbrella-type antenna.
It was learned that while Falcon did not participate in the procurement process, his office received the equipment and signed the invoice receipt.
“It cannot be denied that he [Falcon] accepted the equipment even if his office was not the procuring entity and did not turn it over to the LGU that paid for it,” Morales’ resolution was quoted in the statement.
State auditors also found that the project was awarded to Philflex Trading and General Merchandise without any public bidding, and that the bids and awards committee (BAC) had expressed preference for a specific brand in violation of procurement rules.
Besides Falcon, also ordered charged for graft were Lingig Mayor Roberto Luna Jr., BAC members Jethro Lindo, Aludia De Castro, Carmelo Rebosura and Teofilo Maymay; and Municipal Treasurer Ebrencio Indoyon Jr. Ma. Luzviminda Lopez of Philflex was also named as respondent.
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