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Overpriced fertilizers

Former Governors Ynares, Barbers face graft raps

/ 04:11 AM February 11, 2017

State prosecutors have formally charged former Rizal Gov. Casimiro Ynares Jr. before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged overpriced procurement of P3.597 million worth of fertilizers.

Also formally  charged  was former Surigao del Norte Gov. Robert Lyndon Barbers, who was accused of purchasing fertilizer that was overpriced ninefold in 2004.

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Ynares and nine other individuals are facing  two counts each for violation of Sections 3(e) and 3(g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act over the allegedly irregular purchases made on November 2004 and March 2005.

The cases stemmed from the purchase of 2,455 bottles of Bio Nature Liquid Organic Fertilizers from Feshan Philippines, Inc., at P1,500 each.

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Other accused

Charged with Ynares were provincial accountant Cecilia Almajose and the following bids and awards committee (BAC) members: provincial administrator Virgilio Esguerra, provincial agriculturist Danilo Rumbawa, provincial legal officer Eduardo Torres, provincial engineer Danilo Collantes, department head Eugene Durusan, assistant department head Romulo Arcilla Jr., and assistant budget officer Victorina Olea.

Also charged was Feshan representative Mallyne Araos, also known as Marilyn U. Araos.

Prosecutors recommended that their bail be set at P30,000 for each charge or a total of P120,000 for each of the accused.

They cited the absence of public bidding and the purchase request’s specification of the brand and distributor despite the availability of other foliar fertilizers for as low as P187 per bottle.

The charge sheets stressed that the alleged ninefold overprice of P3.237 million caused undue injury to  government.

Tailor-fitting

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Barbers, meanwhile, posted a bail of P140,000 on Friday shortly after he was charged with two counts each of malversation and violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act before the Sandiganbayan.

He and seven other individuals were accused of skipping public bidding in the procurement of 3,332 kilograms of Elements foliar fertilizer.

Instead, the province had resorted to direct contracting in two instances in May and December 2004.

Prosecutors said this was “tailor-fitted” in favor of exclusive distributor, Rosa Mia Trading.

The fertilizer was priced at P1,500 each kilogram, or a total of P4,998,000.

Prosecutors claimed this was overpriced by P1,330 per kg or a total of P4,431,550, which meant the government ended up paying nine times more than it should have.

Charged alongside Barbers were BAC chairman Vicente Madlos, and members Bob Edera, Virginia Yuipco, Teresita Durero, Audie Relliquette, and Adolfo Pantilo Sr. Also charged was Rosa Mia general manager, Rose Marie Palacio.

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TAGS: Casimiro Ynares Jr., former Rizal governor, former Surigao del Norte governor, graft raps, Overpriced fertilizers, Robert Lyndon Barbers, Sandiganbayan
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