The Office of the Ombudsman said it found probable cause to charge former Norala town mayor Romeo Januto over the procurement.
Facing similar charges are municipal accountant Grace Mediana, municipal treasurer Carlos Bengil and Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Dominador Escucha Jr. and member Victor Balayon.
An investigation by the Commission on Audit showed no competitive public bidding was conducted for the contract awarded to RCS Trading.
Such an act was in violation of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Records showed Januto and company prematurely resorted to direct contracting when they immediately awarded the contract to RCS without establishing there were no suitable substitutes from other establishments.
The Ombudsman said the respondents acted with manifest partiality when “they subscribed to the procurement through direct contracting and not through a competitive public bidding.”
“By subscribing to the procurement through direct contracting, [they] gave RCS Trading unwarranted advantage or preference,” it added. MC