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Press Release

7 DA-Davao City executives charged over P15M bidding scam
11 January 2017

     The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of multiple graft charges against officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Unit XI in Davao City for mishandling the utilization of the P10 million 2005 Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of then Davao Oriental Representative Joel Mayo Almario.

     Facing multiple counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) are Roger Chio (Former Regional Executive Director), Romulo Palcon (Former Regional Technical Director), Alma Mahinay (Chief, Finance Division), Godofredo Ramos (Administrative Officer), Onofre Nugal (Chief, Agricultural Engineering Division), Jamie Bergonio (Former Chief Agriculturist) and Isagani Basco (Former Chief Administrative Officer).

     In three separate Resolutions, the Ombudsman found that Chio, facilitated the procurement and payment of the following items in 2005:

100 units of multimedia system with computer set P10,000,000.00
Water system materials* 2,591,435.40
81 units of personalized 10 x 20 livelihood tent with framing 2,496,582.00
TOTAL P15,088,017.40

     *The funding for the water system materials was sourced from Almario’s share from the GMA Rice and Corn Program.

     Ombudsman investigators found that respondents failed to comply with the required bidding procedure as they did not conduct any pre-procurement or any pre-bid conferences for the projects. Respondents also failed to publish any invitation to bid as required under the Government Procurement Reform Act (Republic Act No. 9184).

     Chio et. al. did not dispute that the procurement requirements were not complied with but raised the common defense that “they did not have any involvement in the bidding process.”

     According to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, “this is untenable.”

     “The wanton disregard of a plain and simple policy of the law that defeated the principle of transparency and competitiveness in the procurement process is sufficient to establish that respondents acted with evident bad faith, manifest partiality or gross inexcusable negligence.” ###