MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman has perpetually barred former Banisilan, Cotabato Mayor Betty Allado from holding public office for the anomalous implementation of a P7-million water project in 2012.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales meted the penalty after the official was found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Allado's nephew Jornalito Allado, municipal administrator and chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), was also found administratively liable and ordered dismissed from public service.
The Ombudsman said Banisilan received P7 million under the “Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat” program of the national government in 2012.
Investigators found that the local government tapped Noel Bryan Tuling of JK Engineering Design and Consultancy Services without prior bidding.
Tuling is Jornalito’s brother-in-law.
"Jornalito’s failure to disclose this fact is tainted with the element of corruption as his omission gave an unwarranted benefit to Tuling," the Ombudsman's decision read.
Under procurement rules, bidders must not be related by blood up to the third civil degree to the head of the procuring government agency or a member of BAC.
The Ombudsman also faulted Allado for appointing her nephew Jornalito as general manager of the Banisilan water system.
"Allado committed a misconduct attended by willful intent to violate the law or to disregard established rules in violation of the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 198 and Executive Order 292," the Ombudsman said.
Meanwhile, BAC members Jaime Alisasis, Ramil Jayma, Marietta Nonan, Ramon Capanang, Carmencita Bari, Andres Serue, Raymond Franco, Hilario Cabangon and Leopoldo Cascante Jr. were found guilty of simple misconduct and were suspended from service for 1 year.