Manila barangay officials face 6 to 9 years prison term for rigged bidding
06 November 2017
Officials from Barangay 500, Zone 49, District IV, Manila were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) for rigging the procurement of equipment in 2008.
In a 21-page Decision penned by Presiding Judge Jean Marie Bacorro-Villena of the Manila Regional Trial Court, the court imposed upon Chairman Ernesto Evasco Sr., Treasurer Nemita Gonzales, and Victoria Limpio, owner of De Victoria Enterprises, the penalty of imprisonment ranging from six to nine years. Meantime, the members of Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Jose Marie Evasco, Ariel Policarpio, Rolando Policarpio, and May Sahagon were sentenced to six to seven years’ imprisonment. The barangay officials were also imposed the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from public office.
Ombudsman prosecutors proved that prior to the actual bidding scheduled in April 2008, Evasco, Sr. and Gonzales approved a purchase order on 17 March 2008 indicating De Victoria Enterprises as the supplier of the projector and sound system at a cost of P138,128.00. The award to the supplier was also approved despite the absence of a business permit as Limpio only submitted a certification from the Department of Trade and Industry.
“Accused could not be allowed to treat their official duties lightly, especially so when what is to be expended is taxpayers’money. The court finds that they have been grossly or inexcusably negligent in allowing accused Limpio, through her “De Victoria Enterprises” to participate in the bidding,” the Decision narrated.
Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 prohibits public officials from performing official duties with manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence causing undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage, or preference.###