N. Ecija gov faces raps over pricey equipment

By Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2012 04:36 PM | Updated as of Aug 07 2012 03:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Graft charges have been filed against incumbent Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio Umali for his alleged misuse of local government funds in the purchase of several heavy equipment for the province.

In a 13-page complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, former Nueva Ecija Governor Tomas Joson III said Umali approved the purchase of P30-million worth of eight heavy equipment. Joson said the price was bloated to P58 million.

"Sa aming kwenta, nag-canvass kami, wala pang P30 million dapat ito, may patong na P28 million" Joson said.

"Ang presyo halos doble, kaya nga binigyan ng pagkakaton na bumili sa labas para makamura,” he added.

The heavy equipment include six dumptrucks, a payloader, and an excavator.

Joson alleged Umali directly commissioned a Seoul-based Korean company, Shin Heung Corp., to deliver the said equipment at an overpriced amount.

“Hindi pa ito ang pinakamagandang brand, hindi pa ito yung top [of the line],” Joson said.

The former governor said they have documents to prove the incumbent governor’s misdeeds.

He also noted that this is already the 16th graft case of Umali, but the Ombudsman has yet to recommend filing even one.

Joson said there were cases against Umali that were already dismissed but the decision on their respective motions for reconsideration have yet to released.

He estimated that the money involved in all the graft cases of Umali could total to almost P300 million.