Ex-Meycauayan mayor banned from gov’t over ghost projects
MANILA — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has meted out a lifetime ban from public office on former Meycauayan City Mayor Joan Alarilla for allegedly pocketing P4.97 million through bid-rigging for ghost projects.
Morales ordered Alarilla dismissed after finding her guilty of the administrative offense of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct. Since she is no longer connected to the government, her penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to one year’s salary.
In a Thursday statement, the Ombudsman’s media bureau said that from July to August 2007, Alarilla issued 43 checks totaling P4.97 million and “converted the money for her personal use.”
The checks were allegedly issued “under the guise of payment” to suppliers LC San Pascual Construction Company and VSP Trading and General Merchandise, the Ombudsman said.
But, Morales held that “there was no public bidding conducted by the city government for these contracts” because the purported suppliers swore that they did not participate as bidders.
The alleged ghost projects covered the construction of artesian wells, repair of basketball courts, perimeter fences and roads, as well as the purchase of “patented school chairs,” and T-shirts for butchers.
The city government also supposedly purchased 50 copies of Alarilla’s photographs and their picture frames.
The Ombudsman also cited the Commission on Audit’s observations that the delivery receipts were not submitted, the items in the purchase order were already used at the time of inspection, and the quantities were either understated or overstated.
“Respondent Joan Alarilla exhibited a clear intent to violate the law. Clearly, the elements of corruption are present in this case as she allowed the misappropriation of public funds through the falsification of the disbursement vouchers and their supporting documents,” Morales ruled.
Alarilla recently ran for representative of Bulacan’s 4th District, but garnered only 16 percent of the votes. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.