Surigao Sur mayor ordered sacked over ghost comm. equipment
MANILA — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of Lingig, Surigao del Sur Mayor Roberto Luna, Jr., over the purchase of P18.9 million in “ghost” communications equipment in 2007.
Luna was held administratively liable for grave misconduct and serious dishonesty over the pork barrel-funded project, the Ombudsman’s media bureau announced Thursday.
Bids and awards committee members Jethro Lindo and Teofilo Maymay were likewise dismissed for grave misconduct. All three were perpetually barred from public office and their retirement benefits were forfeited.
In case dismissal can no longer be enforced due to separation from office, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to one year’s salary.
The Ombudsman found that Luna approved the purchase of the equipment without holding public bidding, as well as the release of the payment to Philflex Trading and General Merchandise despite the non-delivery of the items.
The money was sourced from the 2007 Congressional Initiative Fund of then-Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Peter Paul Jed Falcon.
Records showed that the town directly contracted the purchase of 36 sets OF SENAO SN 6108 long range radio/telephone, consisting of 1 mother base, 9 units OF programmable handsets, 10 units of battery chargers, 10 units of chargeable batteries, 10 units of telephone jackets, 1 unit of connector, 1 unit of umbrella type antenna with cable, 10 units of operating manuals; and, 35 sets of SENAO SN 568 super long range cordless radio/telephone double base with cable and umbrella type antenna.
Philflex allegedly received payment despite the non-delivery of the procured items and the lack of supporting documents, the Ombudsman said, adding that the Commission on Audit in 2011 issued two notices of disallowances ordering the return of the money.
The Ombudsman in October previously ordered the criminal graft indictment of Luna, Lindo and Maymay, as well as Falcon, three other town officials and Philflex executive Ma. Luzviminda Lopez over the same controversy. SFM
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