^

Headlines

JV Ejercito indicted over San Juan firearms deal

Camille Diola - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday said it found probable cause to charge Sen. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, former mayor of San Juan City, and other city officials for the questionable purchase of high-powered firearms.

In a 20-page joint resolution, the anti-graft body recommended the filing of charges of graft and technical malversation against Ejercito for using the city's calamity fund for the procurement of the firearms in February 2008.

Also facing charges for technical malversation are San Juan Vice Mayor Leonardo Celles, City Councilors Andoni Carballo, Vincent Pacheco, Angelino Mendoza, Dante Santiago, Rolando Bernardo, Grace Pardines, Domingo Sese, Francis Peralta, Edgardo Soriano, Jannah Ejercito-Surla, Franciso Zamora, Ramon Nakpil and Joseph Christopher Torralba.

Bids and awards committee members City Administrator Ranulfo Dacalos, Treasurer Rosalinda Marasigan, City Attorney Romualdo Delos Santos, City Budget Officer Lorenza Ching and City Engineer Danilo Mercardo are also charged for violation of the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Addressing the city council in 2008, Ejercito explained that the procurement was "an investment for disaster preparedness." Councilors then passed City Ordinance 9 authorizing the mayor's procurement project.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said there was also "hasty procurement of specific high-powered firearms of a particular brand sans competitive bidding."

"[Ejercito] acted in concert with the members of the city council who authorized him to purchase firearms using the city's calamity funds paving the way for the application of public funds for a purpose different from the one for which they were originally appropriated by law," Morales said.

She cited Department of Budget and Management's circular 2003-1 that does not list high-powered firearms as among items for disaster relief and mitigation.

The Ombudsman also noted that San Juan City officials did not declare a state of calamity prior to the procurement.

RELATED: JV donates assault rifles to San Juan City Police

ANGELINO MENDOZA

ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT

CITY

CITY ADMINISTRATOR RANULFO DACALOS

CITY ATTORNEY ROMUALDO DELOS SANTOS

CITY BUDGET OFFICER LORENZA CHING AND CITY ENGINEER DANILO MERCARDO

CITY COUNCILORS ANDONI CARBALLO

CITY ORDINANCE

EJERCITO

QUOT

SAN JUAN CITY

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with