Catanduanes, Leyte ex-mayors in hot water for graft | Inquirer News

Catanduanes, Leyte ex-mayors in hot water for graft

/ 04:04 PM May 30, 2017
The Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman (File photo by NINO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA — State prosecutors have formally charged the former municipal officials of Viga, Catanduanes at the Sandiganbayan over the purchase of a P13.95-million backhoe without public bidding in 2005.

Charged with one count of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act were former mayor Jose Torres, vice-mayor Yolanda Tuquero, and councilors Lourdes del Rosario, Asuncion Odi, Rosario Mollasgo, Horacio Aquino Jr., Domingo Villanueva, Orbel Tonio, William Tuplano, Gomercindo Litong and Nerissa Usero.


Vice-mayor Tuquero and the councilors passed Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 41, series of 2005, to authorize the acquisition of a JCB 4CS 4x4x4 backhoe loader and declared Compressed Air Machineries Equipment Corp. as the sole distributor.

According to the information signed by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Anjuli Larla Tan-Eneran, the council effectively arrogated upon itself the powers of the bids and awards committee and did away with the required procurement process.


Mayor Torres was faulted for representing the municipality in the procurement of the backhoe loader despite the alleged irregularities attending the process.

The prosecution recommended that bail be set at P30,000 each. Witnesses include officers of the BAC and the municipal budget office, as well as Camec president Manuel Pablico.

Viga, Catanduanes (Wikipedia maps)

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman has found probable cause to order the filing of possible graft charges against the former mayor of Babatngon, Leyte for allowing quarrying operations in 2014 despite the lack of permit from the provincial governor.

Former mayor Charita Chan, as well as quarry operator Christopher Estrella of CSE Builders, face possible charges for violation of Section 3(e) of the graft law, according to a Tuesday statement by the Ombudsman media bureau.

Investigation showed Chan allowed Estrella to continue operations even as the municipal council on Nov. 7, 2014 recommended that the latter be stopped from further extracting sand and gravel from Salug Dongon River.

The Ombudsman said in a resolution that “the inaction particularly of respondent mayor… is an indication of respondent mayor’s manifest partiality and gross inexecusable negligence.”  SFM/rga

Batbangon, Leyte (Wikipedia maps)

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

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.

TAGS: Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Asuncion Odi, Babatngon municipality, backhoe, Catanduanes, Clarita Chan, corruption, courts, Crime, Domingo Villanueva, filing of charges in court, finding of probable cause, former mayors, former municipal officials, Gomercindo Litong, government contracts without bidding, government purchase, Graft, grant of a municipal permit for quarrying without approval from provincial governor, Horacio Aquino Jr., indictment, Jose Torres, Justice, law, Leyte, litigation, Lourdes del Rosario, Nerissa Usero, Orbel Tonio, Quarrying, Rosario Mollasgo, sand and gravel, trials, Viga municipality, William Tuplano, Yolanda Tuquero
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2021 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.