Ombudsman indicts Surigao del Sur mayor for graft
25 August 2017
The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of graft charges against Bislig City, Surigao del Sur Mayor Librado Navarro before the Sandiganbayan for the anomalous purchase of a hydraulic excavator in 2012 worth P14,750,000.00. This developed after the Ombudsman found probable cause to charge Navarro with one count of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).
Aside from Navarro, also facing trial for violation of Section 3 (e) of R.A. No. 3019 are Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Charlito Lerog (City Administrator), and BAC members, namely: City Treasurer Roberto Viduya, City Planning Development Coordinator Aprodecio Alba Jr., General Services Officer Felipe Sabaldan Jr., City Budget Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Belma Lomantas, OIC-City Engineer Lorna Salgado, and City Legal Officer Daisy Ronquillo; Technical Working Group (TWG) members City Accountant Raquel Bautista, Gilbert Abugan, Laila Manlucob, and Estefa Mata; and Cesar Ner of RDAK Transport Equipment Inc.
The criminal case stemmed from the questionable purchase by the city government of a Komatsu crawler-type hydraulic excavator from RDAK on 18 July 2012 worth P14.7 million. The Commission on Audit (COA) Evaluation Report showed that the project was awarded to RDAK despite its non-compliance with the technical specifications concerning the engine power, bucket capacity and operating weight. Due to questions that attended the procurement, the COA issued a Notice of Disallowance on 23 October 2012. It was also found out that RDAK did not truthfully present the specification of the Komatsu unit in its bid.
The Resolution stated that, “there was an apparent manipulation of TWG’s Post-Qualification and Evaluation Report to make it appear that RDAK had a responsive bid. By respondents’ concerted acts clearly favoring RDAK, they accorded it the benefit, advantage and preference it did not deserve.”
Under Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, public officials are prohibited from causing any undue injury to any party, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. ###