MANILA- The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of additional graft charges against Cagayan De Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno and several other former local officials for questionable lease contracts of heavy equipment he allegedly entered into as Misamis Oriental governor.
Moreno was also again ordered dismissed from the service and perpetually disqualified from holding public office, with his retirement benefits forfeited.
He had faced the same penalties in June, when the Ombudsman filed 6 counts of graft against Moreno and the other former provincial officials, also on alleged irregularities in leasing heavy equipment.
The Ombudsman based the fresh charges on a Commission on Audit special report, which showed that the transactions done from 2007 to 2012 amounting to P20.5 million were fictitious upon verification from suppliers who denied participation in the bidding process.
In 16 separate resolutions, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of 18 counts of graft against Moreno as well as his co-accused: former Provincial Accountant Divina Bade (16 counts); Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) members Cancio Guibone (1 count), Elmer Wabe (17 counts), Patrick Gabutina (16 counts), Rolando Pacuribot (18 counts), Danilo Maputol (2 counts), Elsie Lopoy (5 counts) and Leemar Tinagan (3 counts).
Aside from graft, additional charges of falsification of public documents were also ordered filed against Moreno (1 count), Wabe (4 counts), Gabutina (4 counts), Pacuribot (4 counts), Lopoy (4 counts), Maputol (2 counts) and Tinagan (1 count).
The Ombudsman said Moreno and his co-accused violated the Government Procurement Act as they did not conduct public bidding.
Earlier this week, Moreno secured a writ of preliminary injunction at the Court of Appeals, stopping dismissal orders against him.