12 Davao DA execs indicted over negotiated contract
State prosecutors indicted 12 Department of Agriculture (DA) Davao regional officials at the Sandiganbayan over the allegedly anomalous procurement of P3.04 million worth of disinfectants.
The case arose from the DA regional field office’s September 2012 award of the contract to FKA Agri-Chemical for the purchase of 38 drums of disinfectant through negotiated procurement.
Assistant Special Prosecutor Jorge Espinal of the Office of the Ombudsman said the DA officials ignored a more favorable supplier in favor of FKA.
Espinal said a qualified bidder, Sanitation Concepts Inc., had offered a lower and more advantageous bid proposal amounting to P2.65 million.
Indicted were former regional executive director Constancio Maghanoy Jr., former administrative division chief and bids and awards committee (BAC) chair Isagani Basco, former finance division chief and BAC vice chair Alma Mahinay, former research division chief Alfredo Cayabyab, former livestock division chief Rafael Mercado, former engineering division officer in charge Larry Pineda, former regional corn program coordinator and technical working group chair Herna Palma, senior agriculturists Rosalinda Mediano, Melani Provido and Isabelita Buduan, agriculturist Lelisa Lascuña, and administrative officer Marie Ann Constantino.
Still employed by the DA
Some of the accused are still employed by the DA regional office: Mediano is currently the field operations division chief, Provido is the regional high-value crops development program coordinator, Buduan is the regional soils laboratory chief and Constantino is the regional livestock program coordinator.
When the Ombudsman found probable cause to charge the officials, prosecutors said they supposedly favored FKA because of its “freebie” protective gear.
But prosecutors said the disinfectant provided by FKA was “detrimental to people’s health” because of an excessive 40 percent concentration of benzalkonium chloride, compared to SCI’s 5 percent.
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