Talisay officials cleared of graft
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - April 6, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Two employees of the Talisay City government have been cleared by the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas of the administrative case filed against them.

Nona Narca of the Management Information System Section and Edgar Mabunay, city budget officer, were sued over the procurement of an alleged overpriced pick-up rescue vehicle.

Graft investigation and prosecution officer Ronel Ubod found no evidence to prove that Narca and Mabunay were indeed involved in the procurement.

"Clearly, the procurement of the JAC Stallion rescue vehicle, from planning to purchasing, was transferred to the new procurement unit, which, was previously stated, excludes the respondents…Without proof that the respondents participated in the procurement, there would be no basis to conclude that they violated a rule of action, or exhibited unlawful behavior, attended by corruption or gross negligence," the decision read.

The Field Investigation Office alleged that after supertyphoon Yolanda devastated Visayas in 2013, the Talisay City government purchased a brand-new JAC Stallion 4x4 pick-up worth P3.5 million.

To address such a need, the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of Talisay City, through a resolution, recommended the alternative mode of negotiated procurement. It also recommended the creation of a new procurement unit.

Allegedly, the procurement of the vehicle was overpriced based on the report of the Commission on Audit.

Mabunay, in his defense, denied participating in the procurement of the JAC rescue vehicle. He claimed that the BAC, through Resolution No. 018-H, created a new procurement unit tasked to prepare the requests for quotation and to do the canvass.

"Unaware of any overprice in the JAC rescue vehicle, he reiterated that he did not do the canvass himself, nor was he a member of the new procurement unit," his statement read.

Narca failed to file her counter-affidavit, although Ubod said the ruling similarly applies to her.

"Like Mabunay, she was not involved in the procurement of the JAC rescue vehicle. She was not designated as member of the new procurement unit. Other than the revised abstract of canvass, she too did not sign any of the procurement documents," the decision read. —/BRP (FREEMAN)

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