MANILA The Office of the Ombudsman sued a town mayor in Zamboanga del Sur for graft charges over his alleged anomalous procurement of agricultural supplies worth more than PHP4.112 million three years ago.
The anti-graft court charged Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur mayor Roy Encallado with violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for the purported irregular procurement of supplies from Barcelona Spring Farm (BSF).
Aside from Encallado, the Ombudsman also charged Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Arwin Alpha; BAC members Alex Villarin, Elvira Emia, Andres Limatoc, and Merlinda Ambaic; municipal accountant Eien Maning; National Resource Management Focal Person and Municipal Planning Officer Ludivina Salazar; and Inspection Officer Pilar Locop.
During investigation, the Ombudsman discovered that in 2014, the town received a PHP5-million grant from the Department of Agriculture under the Sustainable Income Generating Activity, a sub-project of the Mindanao Rural Development Program funded by the World Bank for the implementation of aquamarine farming projects.
In using the fund, the respondents procured fish cages, fingerlings and fish feeds without conducting any public bidding.
On April 14, 2016, the Commission on Audit (COA) issued a Notice of Disallowance after taking note of the irregularities such as the town resorting to the alternative method of procurement agent; non-compliance with the requirement of posting the invitations to bid in the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System; and non-imposition of warranty security prescribed under RA No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The COA also found that the respondents paid BSF as early as January 2015 even prior to completion of the delivery, inspection and acceptance of the supplies on Feb. 20, 2015.
On Jan. 6, 2016, the COA conducted an ocular inspection of the project site and found that no fish cages were installed nor was there any delivery of fingerlings or fish feeds.
By their glaring failure to comply with the provisions of R.A. No 9184, they gave unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to BSF. Indeed, they awarded the procurement contract to it without the benefit of a fair system in determining the best possible price for the government, the Ombudsman said in its resolution.
Source: Philippine News Agency