Liloan mayor, 12 others face charges

Michael Vencynth H. Braga (The Freeman) - May 4, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Liloan Mayor Vincent Franco "Duke" Frasco and 12 other officials are now facing complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman over an alleged overpriced contract entered into by the town for garbage hauling and disposal project.

The complainant Norma Puzon, a senior citizen residing in Barangay Poblacion in the same town, filed the administrative complaints for grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority and gross neglect of duty.

Apart from Frasco, also named respondents were councilors Edna Cala, Thelma Jo-rdan, Ferdinand Jumapao, Ne-lly Bernardo Lopez, Lurgio Cañete, Leo Salundaguit and Vidal Cañete; Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Nena Limpag; and BAC members Remedios Udtohan, Marifel Cabua, and Tomas and Sherwin Pepito.

Puzon asked the anti-graft body to place the respondents under preventive suspension pending investigation.

The complaint stemmed from the P11.9-million contract between the municipal government and Zeebu Waste Management Joint Venture for the hauling and disposal of garbage, which was allegedly "disadvantageous" to the government. The contractor was also impleaded in the complaint.

As stipulated in the contract, Zeebu would collect a monthly fee of P848, 586 per month and undertake street sweeping, collection of visual clutters, soil mounds with garbage, and animal carcasses.

The contractor is also required to provide and maintain at least two units road worthy hauling compactors with three tonner capacity and four units of mini dump trucks, and provide each truck with tools, materials, equipment and manpower for garbage collection.

But Zeebu reportedly did not comply with the provisions of the contract such as providing two units of road worthy hauling compactors and four mini dump trucks. Instead, the existing four garbage trucks of the municipality were used in lieu of the contractor's equipment.

Puzon alleged that Zeebu has no personnel equipped with technical skills and in hauling and disposing garbage as it is only utilizing the job order employees hired by the municipal government.

In a press statement, Frasco said the complaint was politically motivated.

"I have not yet received a copy of the complaint but if this is about the garbage contract, this went through all the regular bidding processes, and the authority to sign the contract was granted unanimously by the Sangguniang Bayan of Liloan, signed by no less than Vice Mayor Lucelito Pilapil, who has curiously been excluded from the complaint," he said.

    He said Puzon was allegedly dismissed for gambling while on duty.

"It is quite obvious that she is a mere front of her fellow gambler, Vice Mayor Lucelito Pilapil who would stop at nothing to become mayor, and his principals, the Duranos and Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, who stand to gain in attempting to take over the last remaining opposition and the most progressive town in the fifth district. Mas baho pa sa basura ang ilang pamulitika," Frasco added. — (FREEMAN)

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