The Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas has ordered Former Bacolod mayor Monico Puentevella and four other city officials to file their counter-affidavits and other controverting evidences in the criminal and administrative casesagainst them involving the purchase of a P12 million road grader, that is not operational.
The case was filed by Sammy Montoyo Sr., a Save Bacolod Movement member, on Nov. 28, 2017 against Puentevella, General Services officer Jerome Solinap, former members of the Bids and Awards Committee Ma. Agueda de la Torre, Maximo Sillo, and Ephraem Hechanova for the purchase of a road grader for the City Engineer’s Office.
The order dated January 5 signed by acting director Euphemia Bacalso gave the respondents 10 days to file their counter-affidavit and other controverting evidences upon receipt of the order, after finding enough basis to proceed with the criminal/administrative investigation of the cases.
The respondents were also required to submit proof of service of their counter-affidavit/or evidence to the complaint, who may file reply-affidavit within an inextendible period of 10 days from receipt of the order.
Solinap, earlier, said the transaction was not consummated because the grader was pulled out by Megamight Enterprises on July 19, 2017 after Josephus Cerna, head of the Technical Working Group, recommended that it should not be accepted by the GSO because its transmission was defective.
Montoyo said he filed the case because the budget used to purchase the road grader was taken from the City Engineer’s Office amounting to P9 million and the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office amounting to P3 million.
The total amount was P12 million because they claimed that the road grader was a European model, but it turned out later that it was China made, he said.
Montoyo said it is now up to the Ombudsman to determine if there is strong ground for the respondents to be indicted and for the case to go up to the Sandiganbayan.
The cases had been docketed as OMB-V-C-17-0509 for violation ofSections 3(e) (g) of R.A. No. 3019 (The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), R.A. No. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act), violation of Article 220 (Illegal Use of Public Funds or Property)/ Article 171 (Falsification by Public Officer, Employee or Notary or Ecclesiastic Minister) of the Revised Penal Code, and OMB-V-A-17-0536 for Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of Service, Grave Misconduct, and Gross Neglect of Duty.*CGS
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