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Press Release

Ombudsman orders indictment of Iloilo officials for graft
15 June 2017

            The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of charges against three local executives of Tigbauan, Iloilo for their involvement in the anomalous procurement of second hand tractors in 2009.   Facing trial for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) are ex-mayor Excelsior Torres, Eugenia Sayson (Municipal Agriculturist) and George Tinguban (Market Supervisor).   The Ombudsman also ordered the two-month suspension of Sayson and Tinguban after they were found guilty of Misconduct.

            The investigation conducted by the Ombudsman revealed that the municipality purchased two second-hand Ford tractors worth P1,873,928.58 in 2009.  Respondents accepted and facilitated the full payment for the machines without testing the hydraulic spool valves.  The tractors turned out to be defective and had to be repaired in order to be functional and serviceable.

            Torres, et. al., claimed the defense of good faith when they performed their respective duties.

            According to the Ombudsman, “the facts are all too glaring that respondents committed gross inexcusable negligence when they hastily certified the delivery of the tractors as complete and conforming to the quantity and specification, conveniently overlooking the deficiencies of the units.”

            The Ombudsman added that “the sole fact that the tractors were second hand units, whose date of original acquisition was not disclosed in the sales invoice, is reason enough for respondents to insist on adequate testing of all the component parts to determine their operability, in order to safeguard the government from being shortchanged.”

            Section 3 (e) of R.A. No. 3019 prohibits public officials from causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, 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. ###