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Ex-mayor, town execs convicted for procurement fraud

Posted at | Updated as of 06/27/14 2:15 AM

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan has convicted former Aloguinsan, Cebu Mayor Cynthia Moreno and seven other local officials for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the procurement of construction materials in 2007.

In a 27-page decision issued by the Sandiganbayan First Division on Thursday, the anti-graft court convicted Moreno, and the municipality's Bids and Awards Committee composed of Municipal Civil Registrar Pepito Manguilimotan (BAC Chairman), Municipal Budget Officer Nonela Villegas (BAC Vice-Chairman), Municipal Agricultural Officer Marilyn Flordeliza (BAC Member), Utility Worker Gertrudes Ababon (BAC Member), Municipal Assessor John Lim (BAC Member), Utility Worker I Emilia Luz Celis (BAC Member), and the Chairman of the Technical Working Group (TWG) Municipal Engineer Orven Nengasca.

Evidence presented during the trial proved that no public bidding was conducted for the purchase of 311 sheets of composite aluminum panels and other construction materials worth P1,190,037.50, from Diamond Interior Industries Corporation (DIIC) in 2007.

The accused were found to have given the supplier unwarranted benefits when the panels were already purchased prior to the supposed August 25, 2007 public bidding.

"Their participations in the simulated bidding, as signatories to the drama documents, i.e. invitation to bid, minutes of the bid, abstract of opened bids, only strengthen the Court’s belief that the accused had, in conspiracy with each other, consciously and patently given unwarranted favor to DIIC,” the decision stated.

Documents also showed that the local government's attempt to resort to the alternative modes of procurement, such as shopping and emergency purchase, was unjustified for failing to comply with the requirement of Republic Act No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

Moreno and the members of the BAC are sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty imprisonment of 6 years and one month minimum to 10 years maximum.

They are also perpetually disqualified from holding any public office.