MANILA - The Sandiganbayan issued a warrant of arrest against former Camarines Sur Gov. Luis “LRay” Villafuerte Jr. in connection with the purchase of P20 million worth of fuel sans bidding.
Sandiganbayan Sheriff Division chief Albert dela Cruz said the arrest warrant was issued by the 5th division of the anti-graft court.
The case stemmed from a complaint of Carlos Batalla, a former provincial board member of Camarines Sur, who alleged Villafuerte and Naga Petron Fuel Express Zone owner Jeffrey Lo conspired to purchase fuel between January and April 2010 without any public bidding.
“Public respondent Villafuerte Jr. was not at liberty to ignore the almost pre-emptory competitive public bidding requirement mandated by R.A. 9184 in the matter of the procurement or purchase of the P20 million fuel needs of his province. Neither could he successfully claim that such direct purchase or procurement without competitive public bidding was authorized either by an unnamed `department order’ or by traditional practice,” a recommendation from the Ombudsman Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer read.