Lemery, Batangas mayor faces graft charges

By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog

Posted at Dec 15 2009 05:46 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2009 01:46 AM

BATANGAS CITY – The Office of the Ombudsman filed graft charges before the Sandiganbayan against a Municipal Mayor of Batangas for procuring P8.18-million worth of computers in 2004 without the benefit of public bidding.

Charged for violating section 3E of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act is Lemery, Batangas Mayor Raul B. Bendaña.

In a document submitted by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer I Vladimir F. Pelaez, there was probable cause to file graft charges against Bendaña due to "manifest manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence" in entering into a computerization contract with Amellar Solutions.

The contract with Amellar Solutions was represented by Manuel S. Tabunda, for the computerization of the Revenue Generation System of the Municipality of Lemery with the amount of P6,188,737 "without following the procedures provided for under RA 9184 otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act."

"As there was no competitive bidding conducted and said direct contracting is not allowed under Republic Act 9184 and as such, Amellar Solutions was paid the full amount of P8,188,737 as per Disbursement Orders dated November 11, 2004 and December 20, 2004 of the Land Bank of the Philippines," the information said.

The Office of the Ombudsman recommended bail in the amount of P30,000 for the temporary liberty of the accused.

Named witnesses to the case before the Sandiganbayan will be State Auditor Marissa Bayot of the Commission on Audit (COA) and witnesses from the municipal office of Lemery namely Roberto Ricalde, Modesto de Leon, Lenelita Balboa and Alicia Mangubat.