Masbate gov charged with graft over fertilizer scam

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 28 2016 07:09 PM

Masbate gov charged with graft over fertilizer scam 1
Antonio Kho. File Photo

MANILA - Masbate Governor Antonio Kho was charged with two counts of graft before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the anomalous purchase of P4.949-million worth of liquid fertilizer in 2004.

Also respondents in the case are Roger Rapsing of the provincial Bids and Awards Committee; and Alex Rivera and Victoria Ajero, president and area manager and collector of Hexaphil Agriventures, respectively. 

The Office of the Ombudsman accused Kho of causing undue injury to the government after conspiring with other respondents in giving undue benefit to Hexaphil in two instances.

Reyes allegedly approved the purchase and payment of liquid fertilizers from Hexaphil without public bidding and despite glaring irregularities. 

The Ombudsman said Hexaphil was specifically indicated in the purchase request despite the availability of other brands of the same grade. 

There was also no valid justification on why the purchase was done through direct contracting.

Kho also allegedly accepted the "spurious" eligibility requirements of Hexaphil.

Two different contracts were covered by the separate graft cases. The first was the purchase of 4,642.33 bottles of liquid fertilizer worth P3,217,500, on April 15, 2004. The second one was the purchase of 2,499 bottles of liquid fertilizer on December 23,2004 worth P1.732 million.

Each bottle of liquid fertilizer was priced at P700.08.