4 ex-DA execs get 8 years for graft
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has sentenced four former regional officials of the Department of Agriculture based in Davao City to eight years in prison in connection with the anomalous award of a DA water project.

Aside from imposing a prison term, the anti-graft court disqualified former regional executive director Roger Chio, bids and awards committee chaiman Romulo Palcon, finance division chief Alma Mahinay and administrative officer Godofredo Ramos from holding public office.

The case against the respondents stemmed from the award of a P2.6-million water supply contract to PZA Trading in October 2006.

In a decision dated Jan. 30 and obtained by The STAR recently, the anti-graft court said the Office of the Ombudsman was able to present sufficient evidence against the respondents.

The ruling said the winning bidder should have been disqualified as its offer was higher than the approved budget for the project.

“By awarding the contract, the respondents gave unwarranted benefits to the PZA and caused disadvantage to the government,” the Sandiganbayan said in the ruling.

A similar case filed against a fifth respondent, chief DA regional agriculturist Jaime Bergonio, was archived pending his arrest.

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