MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of graft charges against three local executives of Tigbauan town, Iloilo for the procurement of defective second hand tractors in 2009.
Ordered indicted before the Sandiganbayan were former Tigbauan Mayor Excelsior Torres, municipal agriculturist Eugenia Sayson, and market supervisor George Tinguban, the Ombudsman said in a statement Thursday.
Sayson and Tinguban were also suspended for two months after they were found guilty of Misconduct.
The Ombudsman ordered them charged for the questionable purchase of two second-hand Ford tractors in 2009 for P1.87 million.
The respondents "accepted and facilitated the full payment for the machines without testing the hydraulic spool valves," but the tractors turned out to be "defective and had to be repaired in order to be functional and serviceable," the Ombudsman said.
The officials, however, claimed they acted in good faith when they performed their respective duties.
"The facts are all too glaring that respondents committed gross inexcusable negligence when they hastily certified the delivery of the tractors as complete and conforming to the quantity and specification, conveniently overlooking the deficiencies of the units," the Ombudsman said.
"The sole fact that the tractors were second hand units, whose date of original acquisition was not disclosed in the sales invoice, is reason enough for respondents to insist on adequate testing of all the component parts to determine their operability, in order to safeguard the government from being shortchanged," it added.