BuCor execs face charges over Bilibid project bidding
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to file multiple charges against top officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and some suppliers over the anomalous bidding of a construction project at the Muntinlupa national penitentiary.
The Ombudsman said in a statement on Tuesday, December 8, that former BuCor acting director Gaudencio Pangilinan and Chief Administrative Officer Ligaya Dador are facing 5 counts of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Pangilinan and BuCor administrative officer Larry Hari are also facing one count of violation of Section 65 (4) of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Others facing charges for violation of RA 3019 are Venancio Santidad, chief of staff; and Alman Madrid, Lawrence Balolong, Julita Balolong, Alex Del Rosario, Alicia Madrid, Nelson Lee Cheng, Gina Rabancos, and Paulino Fernandez Jr, representatives of suppliers Grand Potential Press Incorporated and Dotgain Solutions.
The Ombudsman said Pangilinan, Dador, Hari, and Santidad were also found administratively liable for grave misconduct. They were ordered dismissed from the service with perpetual disqualification from reemployment in the government service.
In case of separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to one year’s salary, the Ombudsman said.
The case stemmed from the BuCor project involving the construction of the National Bilibid Prison building.
The Ombudsman discovered that in 2012, the BuCor officials split the project into 4 contracts to evade the requirement of public bidding.
The P1.4-million ($29,708) infrastructure project was awarded through small value procurement to preferred suppliers Grand Potential and Dotgain, which are engaged in the printing business, the Ombudsman said.
In its consolidated resolution, the Ombudsman held that “there was no compelling reason to dispense with competitive bidding nor resort to small value procurement.”
"There is no evidence that BuCor attempted to ensure the most advantageous price for the government," said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.
The Ombudsman also found out that during BuCor’s road map launch, Pangilinan and the other BuCor respondents spent P2.3 million ($48,808) for food, giant tarpaulins, and tents "by resorting to emergency purchase."
The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan had earlier convicted Santidad, former Department of Transportation and Communications director for procurement, to 7 years imprisonment for falsification of public documents in connection with the anomalous use of pork barrel funds of the late Isabela representative Antonio Abaya. – Rappler.com
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