MANILA, Philippines - Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez on Wednesday ordered the filing of charges against 4 mayors in 3 provinces in Luzon for alleged graft and corrupt practices.
Ordered charged were Mayor Faustino Alandy Silang of Tayabas, Quezon; Mayor Bernardito Abapo of Milagros, Masbate; Mayor Leoncio Kiat of Echague, Isabela; and, Mayor Florante Raspado of Jones, Isabela.
In a 16-page resolution, Gutierrez ordered Silang charged for malversation of public funds and for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for for allegedly misappropriating a total P331,735.
The Ombudsman said the amount is part of the P1 million loan obtained by Silang from the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) under the "One Town, One Product, One Million" program, which extends loans to municipalities for re-lending to micro, small and medium enterprises with an interest rate of 6% per annum.
Gutierrez said the “amount was not properly disbursed.”
She added in her resolution that some of the purported recipients of the loan denied receiving the amounts.
Abapo, meanwhile, was ordered charged for malversation of public funds for incurring unliquidated cash advances in the total amount of P26,509,594 covering the period from January 2002 to December 2004.
Gutierrez ordered the filing of falsification of public document by public officers against Kiat and Raspado for the “ghost delivery” of 21 Mitsubishi Delica vans to Isabela in 2003. Each unit costs P360,000.
Also ordered charged with Kiat and Raspado were Isabela barangay chairmen Raymundo Claro, Armenio Verdadero; Heherson Dulay; Rogelio Lorenzo Sr.m Benjamin Santiago Sr., Federico Serafica; and, Miguel Ramos.
The same charges were also recommended against Director Venancio Sanidad, of the Department of Transportation and Communications’ Procurement, Supply and Property Management Service and businessman Robert Ngo.
The Ombudsman said that the government officials and Ngo transpired in the “ghost delivery” of the vans, which were later found being sold to third-party buyers. -- report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News