THE Office of the Ombudsman approved the filing of multiple graft charges to the mayor of San Fernando town in Bukidnon for falsification of documents on the procurement of heavy equipment worth P14 million.
Facing charges are Mayor Laurencia Edma, municipal treasurer Agapito Baldo, municipal accountant Felipa Catanus, municipal budget officer Nestor Lopez, private secretary Menchie Landicho, state auditor Carlito Matias, and Bernardita Basay.
The cases stemmed from the 2004 purchase of brand new soil compactor and tractor through a loan agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines.
Instead of public bidding, direct contracting was resorted to with Monark Equipment Corp. acting as supplier.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said the “absence of public bidding and the immediate resort to negotiated purchase deprived the government of the opportunity to secure the best and most economical deal.” (JP/POLITIKO)