Biliran mayor indicted for graft

President Benigno S. Aquino III shares the stage with the children at the meeting with the Filipino Community in Rome for a snap shot at the Leptis Magna Function Room of the Ergife Palace Hotel during his official visit here on Thursday (December 03). (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III shares the stage with the children at the meeting with the Filipino Community in Rome for a snap shot at the Leptis Magna Function Room of the Ergife Palace Hotel during his official visit here on Thursday (December 03). (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to indict Caibiran, Biliran Mayor Eulalio Maderazo for graft over the procurement of medicines without public bidding in 2010.

Maderazo is facing charges for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Municipal Treasurer Loreto Serdeña Jr. and Accounting Department Officer-in-Charge Rodolfo Baguna are also facing charges for conspiring with the mayor in giving unwarranted benefit, advantage and preference to the supplier, Andrea Medi Center.

According to the Ombudsman, investigation revealed that the municipality’s purchase of medicines worth P283,335.15 for its rural health unit in August 2010 did not pass through the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

The Commission on Audit (COA) also reported that the purchase had “no proper documentation”, according to the Ombudsman which had received complaints that the medicines were overpriced.

“The supplier, Andrea Medi Center, was awarded the procurement contract without the benefit of a fair system in determining the best possible price for the government. The supplier was able to profit from the transaction without showing proof that their prices were the most beneficial to the government,” the resolution read.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, in the 11-page resolution, said Maderazo, Serdeña and Baguna are liable for unlawfully resorting to shopping as an alternative mode of procurement considering that the purchase price was beyond the P50,000-threshold allowed for a fourth class municipality. (MNS)

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