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Several local government officials from Visayas and Mindanao to be prosecuted for graft

Ombudsman Building © http://thepoc.net
Ombudsman Building © http://thepoc.net

THE Office of the Ombudsman is set to prosecute before the Sandiganbayan a former town mayor, six local government officials and two businessmen from two provinces in Visayas and Mindanao for fraud.

Charged before the anti-graft court were former Capoocan, Leyte Municipal Mayor Federico Carolino Sr., Capoocan Municipal Bids and Awrds Committee members Pio Antonio Borrel, Macario Noel Gullemas, Letecia Merelos, Frumencio Juntilla and Jesalie Loteyro; Compressed Air Machineries & Equipment Corporation (CAMEC) representatives Manuel Poblico and Jovelito Monesit, and Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat Municipal Engineer Arlene Olivar.

All of the accused will be facing charges of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

Records showed that Carolino and the members of the Caoocan Municipal Bids and Awards Committee gave Poblico and Monesit unwarranted benefit, preference and advantage over the municipality’s procurement of two Mitsubishi dump trucks in 2008.

Furthermore, the records showed that in December 2008, two dump trucks were delivered by CAMEC to Capoocan municipality after it emerged as the winning bidder.

Investigation, however, showed several lapses in the bidding process.

Carolino et al. proceeded with the contract with CAMEC despite the inconsistencies in its business name. Other irregularities include reference to specific brand name, non-compliance with technical specifications and failure to declare the approved budget for the contact.

“With the numerous violations committed in the matter of procurement of the two dump trucks, [t]here was clearly manifest partiality and evident bad faith that attended the collective actions of respondents Carolino and BAC members when they performed their respective roles in said procurement,” the Ombudsman, in a statement, said.

Meanwhile, the charges against Olivar stemmed from her failure to disclose that her mother owned the store from which the municipality bought a Digital Camera worth P16,000.00 in March 2011. The purchase was made due to the need of the municipality to document the progress of the Mindanao Rural Development Program.

In an eight-page Resolution, the Ombudsman pointed out that respondent Olivar has a direct or indirect financial or pecuniary interest in the transaction.

“She displayed manifest partiality in favor of Olivar Store when she did not divulge that Olivar Store is owned by her mother,” the Ombudsman, in another statement, said.

Nelson Flores, J.D., MSCK
A former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Standard Today, and a regular columnist of the Metro Manila based daily tabloid newspaper Hataw; Nelson Flores is also the former Senior Associate Editor of the Houston based Fil-Am Press and former anchor of dzXL and dzRJ's weekend talk show Usaping Bayan. Mr. Flores has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Law degrees from the University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University and a holder of a study certificate from the Diocesan House of Studies, Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI). He is a Freemason and member of Reagan Lodge 1037 in Houston Heights under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas and a member of the Missionary Society of Christ the King (MSCK).

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