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Ex-Davao Oriental mayor gets 8 years for graft

Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - June 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A former municipal mayor in Davao Oriental has been sentenced to up to eight years in prison in connection with the anomalous procurement of P32.7 million worth of heavy equipment.

In a decision promulgated on May 28, the anti-graft court’s Sixth Division found former Caraga town mayor William Duma-an guilty of violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Aside from prison terms, the court disqualified Duma-an from holding public office and ordered him to pay P32.7 million in civil liability to the municipal government.

“Duma-an acted with gross and inexcusable negligence in the procurement of the equipment without public bidding, authority from the Sangguniang Bayan and proper disbursement documents,” the decision read.

The court ordered the cases against Duma-an’s co-respondent, former municipal treasurer Arnold Samon, archived as authorities have yet to locate him.

Filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017, the cases stemmed from the municipal government’s procurement of a hydraulic excavator, fire truck and three dump trucks from the Kilusang Magkakaibigan Multi-Purpose Cooperative in October 2011.

The ombudsman said that aside from the lack of public bidding, the procured items were second-hand or used, which violated a resolution of the municipal council.

The resolution provided that the heavy equipment to be procured should be brand new.

The ombudsman said the disbursement of the P32.7-million fund as payment to the cooperative was not supported with an ordinance and was not included in the town’s approved annual procurement plan.

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