MANILA - The purchase of a car worth about P5 million for ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was contrary to procurement laws, the Commission on Audit told the Supreme Court.
The price of the Land Cruiser (P5,110,500) was used as Approved Budget for the Contract "without market analysis or basis to determine if it was the most advantageous prevailing price," contrary to the Government Procurement Reform Act, said COA.
Approving the amount as the budget for the contract "prevented other suppliers from participating, thereby defeating the purpose of public bidding," it added.
In its 4-page Audit Observation Memorandum, COA said the contract for purchase of Sereno's service vehicle was also submitted 6 months late to the auditor and it lacked several supporting documents.
Sereno has returned the vehicle to the SC ahead of the June 30 deadline.
The purchase of the bullet-proof vehicle was among allegations in the impeachment complaint that lawyer Lorenzo Gadon filed against Sereno, but the former top magistrate's camp maintained that the Supreme Court en banc approved the acquisition and it was not an impeachable offense.
- report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News