PSALM dept. manager suspended for graft
The Sandiganbayan has suspended an official of the state-owned Power Sector Asset and Liabilities Management (PSALM) in connection with his graft charge over the alleged anomalous contract for the sale and disposal of waste oil worth more than P35 million in 2012.
In its resolution promulgated April 6, the anti-graft court Third Division granted the prosecution’s motion to suspend pendente lite Jacinto Ilagan, a PSALM Asset Operations Monitoring and Maintenance Department (AOMMD) acting manager.
The court said the motion to suspend Ilagan is “meritorious” because Section 13 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices act states that incumbent public officers who face a valid information under the anti-graft law or the Revised Penal Code should be suspended from office.
The court also noted that jurisprudence emphasized the “mandatory nature” of the preventive suspension.
The court said even though Ilagan is on “indefinite leave of absence,” “the mandatory character of suspension pendent lite still applies to him. He shall serve the same when he reports back to work.”
“Taking into consideration the public policy involved in preventively suspending a public officer charged under a valid information, the protection of public interest will definitely have to prevail over the private interest of the accused,” the court said.
Named respondents for violation of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, were former PSALM Asset Operations Monitoring and Maintenance Department (AOMMD) manager Rico Valdellon, Asset Valuation Department manager Lorenzo Jacinto, and Ilagan.
Also included in the complaint were Don Thed Ramirez and Renato Vehemente of the Financial Valuation and Tariff Division.
The accused, who are all members of the PSALM bids and awards committee who were supposed to oversee the bidding for the disposal of waste oil of power plants, awarded the contract to the joint venture of Genetron International Company, Atomillion Corp. and Safeco Environmental Services Inc. for the sale and disposal of waste oil from the Sucat Thermal Power Plant.
However, the joint venture was declared a disqualified bidder for the project because they submitted their Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) past the bidding deadline.
The prosecution alleged that the respondents gave undue preference to the joint venture even though the latter was disqualified. JE
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