A former mayor of Davao Occidental faces trial before the Sandiganbayan over a P5-million irrigation project mess where procurement rules were allegedly circumvented, the Office of the Ombudsman said Thursday, June 30.
The Ombudsman ordered the indictment of former Jose Abad Santos town mayor Alex Wangkay for graft in the wake of irregularities in the Small Water Impounding Project in 2009.
Facing graft charges as well is R. Semilla Construction and Marketing (Semilla Construction) proprietor Roberto Semilla.
Ombudsman Conchita Morales said Wangkay extended unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference to Semilla by “awarding the contract to the latter without the benefit of a competitive public bidding.”
She added Wangkay’s acts “unduly deprived the government of the best possible advantages through open competition.”
Citing findings of the Commission on Audit, the Ombudsman said standard bidding documents were not signed; the “Invitation to Apply for Eligibility and to Bid” was not published and posted, and there was no “Statement of Work Accomplished” to support the claim of payment.
It added its own investigation “confirmed that no public bidding took place and that even the Bids and Awards Committee had no knowledge of the project.”
“Documents also revealed that despite the absence of a public bidding, Wangkay signed the Abstract of Quotation, Notice of Award and Notice to Proceed,” it said. (MC)