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/ 02:32 AM January 21, 2017

Pangasinan accountant suspended over MRT mess

The Sandiganbayan Third Division has junked the appeal of Pangasinan provincial accountant Arturo Soriano against his suspension pending trial for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 maintenance contract mess in 2012. In a six-page resolution dated Jan. 18, the court affirmed its Oct. 26 order for Soriano’s 90-day preventive suspension and directed him to “immediately cease and desist” from performing his functions. The case arose from the award of an interim maintenance contract to Philippine Trans Rail Management and Services Corp. (PH Trams) and Comm Builders and Technology Philippines Corp. (CB&T) allegedly without public bidding. Soriano is an incorporator of PH Trams and  is the uncle of the wife of MRT-3 General Manager Al Vitangcol III. —VINCE F. NONATO

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2 fishermen stranded in Vietnam arrive at Naia

Two fishermen, who were stranded for a week in Vietnamese waters, were reunited on Thursday with their families at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia). With only raw fish and a jug of drinking water for a week, Severino Camposano, 44, and Villardo Ruz Jr, 35, of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro province, were saved on Christmas Eve by Vietnamese fishermen while adrift off  Song Tu Tay Island. The fishermen were handed over to border guards of Phu Yen in Vietnam and later brought to the Philippine consulate. — JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE

DAR adjudicator faces graft raps over lover

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of graft charges against a Department of Agrarian Reform adjudicator for bringing his alleged lover to official functions, with hotel accommodations at  government’s expense. Romeo Covarrubias of the DAR Adjudication Board in Davao Oriental province, faces possible charges for two counts of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.  According to a  resolution, Covarrubias caused undue injury to the government when he brought to government functions a certain Lynnete Abarro. Both were married.  —VINCE F. NONATO

Maguindanao vice mayor suspended over SALN

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension of a Maguindanao vice mayor for one month and one day over the violation of asset disclosure rules. General Salipada K. Pendatun Vice Mayor Bonnie Kali was found guilty of simple neglect of duty, after investigation showed that he did not disclose other sources of income in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for the years 2004 to 2006, and 2009 to 2012. Kali allegedly failed to declare that he earned income from inherited farmlands and a multimillion-peso farm with 200 hectares of palm oil trees, rice, corn and coconuts. —VINCE F. NONATO

Former Shell execs file perjury raps vs ex-BOC officials

Former officials of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. executives have filed a criminal complaint against former Bureau of Customs officials and a Batangas-based media practitioner over the latters’ allegations of dodging taxes and duties on raw material imports of the oil giant. Former Shell executives Nigel Avila, Roberto Kanapi and Edgar Chua filed perjury complaints on Jan. 4, 2017 at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office against former Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales, former Port of Batangas Collector Juan Tan and Batangas-based media person Lourdes Aclan for “lying under oath.”—DAXIM L. LUCAS

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TAGS: 2 Filipino fishermen stranded in Vietnam, Arturo Soriano, Bonnie Kali, Bureau of Customs, Edgar Chua, General Salipada K. Pendatun vice mayor suspended, graft case vs DAR adjudicator, Inquirer News Briefs, Juan Tan, Lourdes Aclan, MRT contract mess, Napoleon Morales, Nigel Avila, Pangasinan accountant suspended, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp, Roberto Kanapi, Romeo Covarrubias, Severino Camposano, Shell case vs. customs officials, Villardo Ruz Jr.
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