Ombudsman files graft cases vs ex-governor over purchase of 2nd-hand vehicles

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2018 05:23 PM

MANILA - Former Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado faces two graft cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman for the purchase of 3 second-hand vehicles when he was still mayor of Maasin town.

Mercado was ordered dismissed as governor by the Ombudsman September last year for grave misconduct because of the transactions he entered into as city mayor.

Based on the information filed by the Ombudsman at the Sandiganbayan, Mercado purchased from Kojac Auto Shop and Auto Supply an Isuzu Wizard Wagon and a Toyota Grandia amounting to P1.5 million on January 10, 2007. 

On June 20, 2007, he purchased a Mitsubishi Pajero amounting to P800,000, also from Kojac Auto Shop and Auto Supply. 

In both transactions, the Ombudsman said there were “violations of the provisions of Republic Act No. 9184 on advertising of the invitation to bid, reference to brand names and allowing the posting of the performance bond after the signing of the contract, and notwithstanding the fact that the remaining useful life of the vehicles is below the standard of five years as prescribed in Department of Budget and Management Budget Circular No. 446-A, to the damage and prejudice of the government.”

Also included in the charges are Bids and Awards Committee officers Crispin Arong Jr., Feorillo Demetrio, Jr., Anecito Narit, Benjase Lumen, Consuelo Ladrera; as well as Kojac owner Baltazar Avila, Sr.

Testifying as witnesses are Roberto Gono, Loranda Lague, and Maasin City Accounting Unit head Encarnacio Lora.

A total of P60,000 bail was recommend by the Ombudsman.