Mayor, 7 others, convicted for procurement fraud.
The Sandiganbayan has convicted Mayor Cynthia Moreno of Aloguinsan, Cebu, and other local officials for Graft and Corrupt Practices in connection with the procurement of construction materials in 2007, the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) announced yesterday.
In a 27-page resolution, the anti-graft court's first division also convicted members of the town's bids and awards committee. The committee is composed of Municipal Civil Registrar Pepito Manguilimotan, Budget Officer Nonela Villegas, Municipal Agricultural Officer Marilyn Flordeliza, Utility Worker Gertrudes Ababon, Assessor John Lim, Utility Worker Emilia Luz Celis and the town Engineer Orven Nengasca.
The OMB said the accused were given a sentence of up to 10 years in jail with the additional penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Evidence presented during the trial proved that no public bidding was conducted for the purchase of 311 sheets of composite aluminum panels and other construction materials worth more than P1.1 million from Diamond Interior Industries Corporation (DIIC).
The anti-graft court ruled that the accused gave unwarranted benefits to the supplier through manifest partiality, evident bad faith and inexcusable neglect when "the panels were already purchased prior to the supposed August 25, 2007 public bidding."
"Their participation in the simulated bidding, as signatories to the documents, invitation to bid, minutes of the bid, abstract of opened bids, only strengthen the court's belief that the accused had, in conspiracy with each other, consciously and patently given unwarranted favor to DIIC," the decision stated.
Documents showed that the local government's attempt to resort to shopping, or emergency purchase was unjustified for failing to comply with the requirements of the Government Procurement Reform Act.