Ex-DA officials get at least 6 years for contract 40 centavos over budget
MANILA, Philippines – The anti-graft Sandiganbayan has convicted 4 former Department of Agriculture (DA) officials of corruption and sentenced them to 6 to 8 years in jail for approving a contract 40 centavos over the approved budget.
The Sandiganbayan 6th Division found DA Regional Field Unit 11 (DARFU 11) Regional Executive Director Roger Chio, Regional Technical Director Romulo Palcon, Finance Division Chief Alma Mahinay, and administrative officer Godofredo Ramos guilty of graft for granting a supply contract to PZA Trading, whose bid offer of P2,591,435.40 was 40 centavos higher than the approved budget of P2,591,435.
The contract was awarded in October 2006 for the delivery of water system materials. The officials claimed that they assumed the 40 centavos was a simple typographical error, but the Sandiganbayan thought otherwise, and dubbed the awarding as “gross inexcusable negligence at the very least.”
“The difference may be minuscule, but there is no question that P2,591,435.40 is greater than P2,591,435.00,” the court said, adding that the officials should have declared a failed bidding and disqualified PZA Trading instead, as it gave the bidder “unwarranted benefits, advantage, or preference.”
The court also barred the officials from government service regardless of position. – Rappler.com