Gica faces graft for hiring Bamboo
Gregg M. Rubio (The Freeman) - September 20, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — For hiring Bamboo Mañalac to perform during the town fiesta in 2015 without going through the bidding process, Dumanjug Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica will face a criminal case in court after the Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause against him for violation of the anti-graft law. 

The anti-graft office has indicted Gica for violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Gica allegedly influenced the municipal Bids and Awards Committee to perform an act constituting a violation of the rules and regulations.

“Let the corresponding information be filed before the proper court,” read a resolution of the anti-graft office.

Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer II Rheia Tibon recommended the filing of the case in court. The recommendation was approved by Ombudsman Samuel Martires on June 13, 2019.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by former mayor Nelson Garcia on September 2, 2016.Garcia was the town mayor of Dumanjug from June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2016 but got suspended prompting Gica, who was then the vice mayor, to assume the office as acting mayor effective March 2015.

In preparation for the then upcoming 160th founding anniversary of the municipality, Gica and former municipal administrator Danilo Macoy requested the cultural presentation of two local bands (Adrianne Band and Overdue Band), Powerspoonz Band, and entertainment and musical numbers from Bamboo.  

In his memorandum dated September 16, 2015, Gica directed the municipal BAC to resort to direct contracting to secure the services of the performers for the fiesta celebration.

The Sangguniang Bayan authorized Gica to engage the services of TSE Live Inc. which was responsible for the performance of Bamboo and other artists.   

The anti-graft investigation showed that it is of record that Gica directed the BAC through memorandum 0916-01 to resort to direct contracting.

The BAC also complied with the said directive and issued a letter dated September 18, 2015 stating therein that the committee yields to the mayor’s memorandum.

“Thus, by explicit provisions of RA 9184 and its implementing rules, it is the BAC which determines, in particular instances, whether to resort to Alternative Methods of Procurement and recommends to the Head of Procuring Agency the methods of procurement,” read the resolution.

Gica also allegedly directed the Local Finance Committee to release the payment of P953,200 prior to the performance date of the artists on October 1, 2015.

The advance payment was prohibited under Presidential Decree 1445 or the State Auditing Code of the Philippines. — FPL (FREEMAN)

EFREN GUNTRANO GICA
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