Eight people, including a former mayor in Misamis Oriental, are facing graft charges for their alleged involvement in the P4.99 million fertilizer fund scam in the province, the Office of the Ombudsman said in a statement.
The Ombudsman said there was probable cause to indict former Libertad Mayor Alberto Acain for two counts of graft for the procurement of two batches of fertilizer in 2004.
The Ombudsman said also charged were:
* members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC): Lucia Almeñe, Oscar Benlot, Isidro Gervacio, Elizabeth Pagalan and Sergio Jacalan Jr.
* representatives of Green’s International Enterprises (GIE): Ricardo Mendoza Jr. and Ma. Lourdes Mendoza.
Citing findings by the Commission on Audit (COA), the Ombudsman said Acain and company used direct contracting instead of public bidding in buying the fertilizer.
GIE immediately submitted a “bid quotation” the day after the purchase request was issued, specifying a particular brand. This violated procurement rules.
Ombudsman Conchita Morales said the respondents’ actions were “evidently issued to cover-up the pre-selection of GIE as supplier of the fertilizers.”
She added the lack of competitive public bidding hurt the government as it was not given a chance to avail of the best product or service at the lowest price in the market.