Echiverri faces fresh graft case over unauthorized street-lighting project

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2018 01:25 PM

Former Caloocan Mayor Enrico Echiverri. Jay Directo, AFP

MANILA - Former Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri was charged with one count of graft by the Office of the Ombudsman for a street-lighting project amounting to P1.27 million from 2012 to 2013.

Based on the charge sheet before the Sandiganbayan, Echiverri entered into a contract with P.B. Grey Construction for the “construction and installation of streetlightings at Zenia Street (Capt. De Rico Street to Champaca Street), Camarin, Barangay 174, Caloocan City” even if he did not have prior authorization from the city council.

According to the Office of the Ombudsman, Echiverri approved the disbursement voucher for P.B. Grey “when there was neither a specific or itemized appropriation ordinance passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Caloocan for said project, nor a prior approval or authorization by said Sanggunian for Echiverri to enter into a contract with Peter B. Grey of P.B. Grey Construction."

Also charged with Echiverri were then City Accountant Edna Centeno and City Budget Oficer Jesusa Garcia who certified the allotment and obligation slips for the project as well as the disbursement voucher.

The Office of the Ombudsman also filed falsification of public documents cases against Garcia and Centeno for certifying the documents “when in truth and in fact, both accused very well knew that there was neither a specific or itemized appropriation for said project in said amount nor a prior approval or authorization from the Sangguniang Panlungsod.”

The bail recommended by the Office of the Ombudsman for the graft case is P30,000 for each of the accused while for the falsification case, P12,000 each for Garcia and Centeno.

Aside from the street-lighting project case, Echiverri is also facing cases for other projects such as drainage improvement, construction of a multi-purpose barangay hall, a pathway improvement project, all done when he was still Caloocan City mayor.