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6 public hospital execs face graft raps

MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman ordered the filing of criminal charges yesterday against high-ranking officials of the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) in Quezon City for allegedly violating procurement rules in their purchase of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine worth P44.9 million in 2005.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said probers found probable cause to indict hospital director Dr. Rosalinda Aradia; bids and awards vice chairman Dr. Angeles de Leon; BAC members nutritionist Milagrina Jacinto and medical technologist Michael Raquel; and executive committee members chief administrative officer Floserpina Yanguas and nurse Luz Padua for violating the anti-graft law.

Case records show that on April 25, 2005, three prospective suppliers submitted their bids, with Fernando Medical Enterprises, Inc. (FMEI) submitting the highest bid of P44,998,000.

In its bidding documents, QMMC stated that full payment shall be made upon complete delivery and acceptance of the equipment subject to the release of funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

On June 7, 2005, the BAC awarded the contract to FMEI with the following terms of payment: 30 percent down payment upon issuance of purchase order; 30 percent upon delivery of unit and 40 percent upon commissioning of the equipment.

On Sept. 15, 2005, the executive committee issued a resolution allowing a 15 percent down payment from the cost of the infrastructure component of the project and FMEI was paid a total of P16.4 million as advance payment.

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Morales said the hospital officials “applied two different sets of rules on payment to the entire MRI project – the rules on procurement of infrastructure projects that they used as their justification for the down payment and progress payments, and the rules on procurement of goods – when only the latter should apply thereto.”

The charges against BAC chairman Roberto Dalmacion were dismissed when he died in 2007 while the case against accountant Melanie Lomotan was dismissed for lack of probable cause.

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