Aurora gov, 9 execs told to answer graft raps

Manny Galvez - The Philippine Star

BALER, Aurora, Philippines – Aurora Gov. Gerardo Noveras and nine other provincial government officials have been asked to answer the graft charges they are facing over the alleged questionable purchase of a heavy equipment three years ago.

Noveras, executive assistant Isaias Noveras Jr., provincial administrator Simeon de Castro, legal counsel Paz Torregosa, general services officer Ricardo Bautista, budget officer Norma Clemente, equipment pool officer Cornelio Ancheta, assistant engineer Benedicto Rojo and engineers Alfredo Penzon and Joel Friginal should file their counter-affidavits within 10 days from receipt of the notice, evaluation and investigation office chief Margie Fernandez-Calpatura said in separate orders dated Feb. 16.

A complaint filed by Amado Elson Egargue and Rodante Tolentino said Noveras conspired with the provincial officials to procure a payloader worth P8.5 million without authority from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

Documents showed Noveras approved the procurement through a purchase request signed by Ancheta, which should have been charged before the provincial government’s 20 percent development fund.

Maxima Machineries Inc. won the public bidding, but another document allegedly signed by Noveras and Clemente showed that the P8.5 million was paid to Marubeni Corp.

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