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Graft raps filed against mayor of Ubay, Bohol

(The Freeman) - September 30, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The incumbent mayor of Ubay town in Bohol is now facing criminal and administrative charges over the alleged anomalous purchase of transformer and furniture during his time as vice mayor.

Councilors Constancio Atuel, Eustaquio Bacolod, Isidore Besas, Victor Bonghanoy and Violeta Reyes on Tuesday filed the complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas against Mayor Galicano Atup.

The complaint stated that, sometime in April 2008, "the municipality of Ubay purchased one unit of 20KVA transformer from S. Tac-an General Merchandise in the amount of P48,000 intended for Camambungan National High School."

The councilors alleged the transformer was falsely made to appear as having been received and accepted by Atup and was also "falsely made to appear" as having been inspected by Engineer Dionisio Boiser on the same date, April 11, 2008.

However, Camambugan National High School head teacher Reynita Haduc certified that, on November 7 of 2008, they actually received the transformer from the supplier and not from the municipal government, which reported to have received it on April 11, 2008.

“It goes without saying that the earlier payment made by the Municipality of Ubay, Bohol on April 14, 2009 had been misappropriated through falsification of a public or official document. Indeed, the Municipality of Ubay, Bohol was made to pay for an item not otherwise actually received or delivered. Such payment was for a ghost item,” the complainants alleged.

They also said that when reports of such "ghost delivery" started to surface, and Atup, in his effort to cover up his tracks, allegedly caused a belated delivery of another transformer (P25KVA) almost seven months after.

A separate complaint filed by the five councilors stemmed from the Audit Observation Memorandum (dated November 3, 2006) on the procurement of office tables and chairs and fabrication of cubicles for the Office of the Municipal Council.

The Office of the Auditor noted an alleged irregularity, such that a pre-mature payment (amounting to P244,447) for the procurement of the furniture was done on July 21, 2006, but then councilor Cesar Arro Sr.'s letter (on October 18, 2006) alleged that the actual delivery of the furniture was done on October 8, 2006, while the fabrication of the cubicles had not started yet.

The Office of the Auditor also observed that on July 21, 2006, and "in one fell swoop, several procurement processes had transpired and were completed."

Worse, the notice of award to the lowest calculated responsive bidder (S. Tac-an General Merchandise), was issued on July 18, 2006 or three days before the opening of bids on July 21, that year, the complainants alleged.

They also requested the Ombudsman to charge and file any other appropriate criminal complaints that may be warranted under the circumstances. Further, they asked the anti-graft office to order a preventive suspension on Atup, pending the resolution of the complaints. (FREEMAN)

ATUP AUDIT OBSERVATION MEMORANDUM BOHOL CAMAMBUGAN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CAMAMBUNGAN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CESAR ARRO SR. COUNCILORS CONSTANCIO ATUEL GENERAL MERCHANDISE MUNICIPALITY OF UBAY OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR QUOT
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