Former Ilolo Gov. Neil Tupas Sr. and three other capitol officials have been charged by Ombudsman for graft for excess payments to a utility company.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found probable cause to charge Tupas, Provincial Accountant Lyd Tupas, Assistant Department Head Sandra Bionat, and General Services Department Head Ramie Salcedo for violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the overpayment of unconsumed electricity worth P4 million to Green Core Geothermal, Inc. (Green Core)
In the Joint Resolution, Ombudsman Morales stated that “respondents cannot sweepingly claim that they merely certified the disbursement documents to be valid, proper and legal, because if they really perused those documents they would have found the questionable nature of an electric billing that was unconsumed.”
Tupas entered into a deal with the National Power Corporation (later assumed by NPC’s successor, Green Core) for a four-year supply contract. From 2007 to 2011.
Tupas anticipated an increase in power demand with the construction of the Iloilo Multi-Purpose Convention Center.
But since the convention center did not push through, Tupas requested for the adjustment and reduction of the contract energy.
Greencore, however, only applied the reduction in the last year of the supply contract.
A total of P5.88 million was paid to Green Core although the actual consumption of the province amounted to only P1.88 million, resulting to an overpayment of almost P4 million covering the billing period for December 2009 to April 2010.
Due to the payments made, the Commission on Audit issued a Notice of Disallowance dated 11 January 2011.
Aside from graft charges, the three provincial officers — Lyd Tupas, Bionat and Salcedo — were found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and neglect of duty and were suspended from the service for one year.