MANILA--The Ombudsman has indicted former Surigao del Sur 2nd district Representative Peter Paul Jed Falcon for graft in connection with the anomalous procurement of P18.9 million worth of communication equipment in 2007.
Also facing graft complaints are Lingig Mayor Roberto Luna Jr., and Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) members, namely: Jethro Lindo, Aludia De Castro, Carmelo Rebosura and Teofilo Maymay; municipal treasurer Ebrencio Indoyon, Jr.; and Ma. Luzviminda Lopez of Philflex Trading and General Merchandise.
In 2007, investigators found that local government officials of Lingig bought communication equipment and accessories using the lawmaker’s pork barrel but the Commission on Audit (COA) later discovered that the equipment was never received.
The COA then issued two sets of notices of disallowances for the procurement of communication equipment, including 36 sets of long range radio/telephone, nine handset units, 10 units battery chargers, and 10 units chargeable batteries.
Auditors also observed the BAC’s preference for a specific brand, a violation of procurement regulations.
The project was awarded to Philflex without any public bidding.
According to Ombudsman Conchita Morales, “while it may be true that Falcon did not participate in the procurement process, it cannot be denied that he accepted the equipment even if his office was not the procuring entity and did not turn it over to the LGU that paid for it."
The Ombudsman said, "Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 prohibits public officials from causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence."