MANILA, Philippines – Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Aurora Cerilles and 6 others will face graft and corruption charges for the alleged illegal purchase of medical supplies in 2001.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the filing of the criminal case before the Sandiganbayan against Cerilles, who was then governor of Zamboanga del Sur.
Also facing charges are:
Marina Tudio-Tampus, then officer-in-charge (OIC) provincial accountant;
Estita Tago, OIC provincial budget officer;
Malaya Ysmael, OIC general services officer;
Corazon Silla-Ariosa, chief of hospital of Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Hospital, and all four as members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the provincial government of Zamboanga del Sur;
private individuals Rey Morgada and Neil Cruz, who acted as representatives of U-Net Distributors Corporation (U-Net).
The case was filed after an investigation by the Commission on Audit (COA) showed that hospital supplies were purchased from exclusive distributors.
This is in violation of Section 105 of COA Circular No. 92-386, which “allows procurement from exclusive Philippine agents or distributors only if (a) the Philippine distributor has no sub-dealers selling at lower prices; and (b) no suitable substitutes of substantially the same quality are available at lower prices.”
COA’s findings also showed that if the procurement was made through public bidding, the agency could have saved more than P1 million.
The supplies were purchased for P6,879,225.
Cerilles and the 6 accused will face charges for violating Section 3 of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.