Ex-Bohol mayor gets 10 years over fertilizer fund scam

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2019 11:48 AM

MANILA - Former San Isidro, Bohol mayor Requillo Samuya has been sentenced to 6 to 10 years imprisonment for his involvement in the P723 million fertilizer fund scam in 2004.

In the decision of the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division promulgated on September 6, 2019, Samuya was found guilty of graft for the purchase of 812 kilos of NBEM-21 Microaid Activator worth P975,000 from Akame Marketing International without public bidding.

“To be sure, the requirement of public bidding is not an idle ceremony. It has been aptly said that in our jurisdiction public bidding is the policy and medium adhered to in Government procurement and construction contracts under existing laws and regulations,” the court said in its decision penned by Presiding Justice and Division Chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tan, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Bernelito Fernandez and Ronald Moreno.

The court archived the case of Samuya’s co-accused, Edilberto Apostol of Akame Marketing, who remains at large.

The case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against Samuya and Apostol stemmed from the P723 million Farm Inputs and Farm Implements program of the Department of Agriculture during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Samuya argued during trial that the town’s Bids and Awards Committee was not yet constituted when the fertilizer was purchased, prompting them to resort to direct contracting as a method of procurement.

“His defense that the BAC was not yet constituted at that time is certainly puerile. All he had to do was to constitute the BAC and let the BAC perform its duties defined in the law,” the court said.

Aside from imprisonment, Samuya was also sentenced to perpetual disqualification from holding public office.