MANILA, Phiippines – Three Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) officials were slapped with 6 to 12-year jail terms over the construction of a faulty dam over two decades ago.
In a 43-page ruling, Sandiganbayan Second Division chairperson Associate Justice Teresita Diaz-Baldos found DPWH Project manager Thomas Buen, and engineers Galileo Fortaleza and Victor Sangabol guilty of graft for the faulty construction of an irrigation dam in Camarines Sur in 1989.
The court found out that the officials allowed design deviations to the P21.25 million dam, compromising its structural integrity.
The officials were found responsible for allowing the usage of 200-400 millimeter-thin riprap wall, instead of the original thickness of 900 millimeters.
After 19 months since it was completed on May 5, 1992, the dam was easily destroyed by typhoon Puring. – with a report from Henry Atuelan, dzMM