Catamco, others charged in fertilizer scam, Perzebos Co., Sandiganbayan
Charges have been filed at the antigraft court Sandiganbayan against Rep. Nancy Catamco and former officials of Poro town, Cebu province, for the alleged misuse of P5 million in fertilizer funds 14 years ago.
Ombudsman prosecutors filed the charges against Catamco and Edgar Rama, then vice mayor and now mayor of Poro town and seven other town officials.
Also charged was Pompey Perez, Catamco’s business partner and ex-husband.
Prosecutors charged them with illegally awarding a contract for 3,333 bottles of Vitacrop liquid fertilizers in May 2004 to Perzebos Co., which was owned by Catamco and Perez.
Perzebos was “barely 2 months old” at the time, the prosecutors said.
Each bottle of Vitacrop cost P1,500 which the Commission on Audit found to be overpriced by P1,092, prosecutors said.
The total amount in excess of the actual price of the fertilizer was P4.6 million.
The supply contract allegedly did not go through public bidding.
In a phone interview, Catamco said she was a private citizen at the time.
But her lawyer, Geraldine Quimosing, refused to comment saying the case was now sub judice. —Vince F. Nonato
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