MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has filed criminal charges against incumbent Pasay City Mayor Antonio Calixto, former Mayor Wenceslao Trinidad and several other city officials for forging allegedly anomalous solid waste management contracts.
Trinidad was then city mayor while Calixto was his vice mayor when the 2-year contracts were signed. The contracts were to run until 2006.
Acting Ombudsman Casimiro ordered the filing of one count for violation of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) before the Sandiganbayan against Trinidad; Calixto; City Councilors Richard M. Advincula, Lexter N. Ibay, Jose Antonio F. Roxas, Noel C. Bayona, Arnel Regino T. Arceo, Editha V. Vergel De Dios, Marie Irish P. Pineda, and Greg Paolo N. Alcera; private contractors Ernesto V. Salvador (owner of LEG Hauling Services), Joel C. Ycasas (President, Excellent Transport Services, Inc.), Jeremy R. Paguia (Owner, Solid Waste Alternative Tech), Ma. Marilou E. Baltazar (Owner, RM Maintenance Services) and Alexander K. Tantoco (President, Greenline Envirotech Philippines).
Two counts of violation of section 3(e) of RA 3019 were also filed against Trinidad, Salvador, Ycasas, Paguia, Baltazar, Tantoco.
Also, three counts for direct bribery were filed against Trinidad. Two counts for direct bribery were slapped against Calixto, Advincula, Ibay, Roxas, Bayona, Arceo, Vergel De Dios, Pineda and Alcera.
Prosecution records showed the officials awarded the city’s garbage disposal contracts, worth about P232.32 million, without proper bidding.
These were awarded to Solid Waste Alternative Tech (SWAT), Excellent Transport Services, Inc. (ETSI), RM Maintenance Services, LEG Hauling Services Corporation, Greenline Envirotech Philippines, Inc.
The city council declared as void the contracts on January 20, 2004. To sustain garbage-collecting operations, it authorized Trinidad to extend the contracts for 90 days only.
Instead, Trinidad gave the contractors 6 months.
The prosecution also found the respondents to have received kickbacks from the contractors: Trinidad, P520,000; Calixto, P260,000 and the councilors, P130,000.
The Ombudsman’s resolution reads, “to stress, the contracts involved millions of pesos. Respondent Trinidad would always ask for contract extensions and the Sanggunian would willingly give it in exchange for the monthly kickbacks.”
It further stated, “Calixto's inaction could be easily explained by the glaring truth that he was part of the grand scheme of the public officers and private respondents, in order that they would be assured that they would be awarded contracts, and the latter making sure that they would continue receiving monthly salaries.”