October 16, 2014

Ifugao officials sued over P3M fertilizer fund scam

MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to file criminal charges against officials of the municipality of Hingyon, Ifugao for the irregular procurement of P3.25 million worth of fertilizers in 2004.
Former Mayor Alex Kindipan, Municipal Teasurer Henry Gano, and Municipal Accountant Maria Nilda Deloy were charged for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act as well as the Government Procurement Reform Act.

Also charged were Dolly Villaflor and Lucia Diola of Bry Cin Enterprises, and Suzette Recto of Jozeth Trading.
In a 22-page Resolution, the Ombudsman said the local government of Hingyon received P3.25 million for the purchase of farm inputs and farm implements under the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) Program.
A total of 2,166 bottles of Keppelson Super Fast Foliar Plant Food fertilizer, which cost P1,500 each, were bought from Bry Cin Enterprises on May 14, 2004 through an undated and unnumbered Purchase Request signed by Kindipan and Gano.
According to the Ombudsman, the Commission on Audit (COA) discovered that no public bidding was conducted for the project, and the procurement was made with reference to specific brand names.
The COA also noted that the laboratory test of the sample taken showed that the contents were lacking.
The purchase was overpriced by P1,350 per bottle, and there was under delivery of 2,070 bottles, it added.
The COA issued a Notice of Disallowance on January 11, 2006.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said the respondents "were fully aware of the glaring red flags in the subject procurement, but they still actively participated from the preparation of the undated [purchase request]...up to the delivery of the goods/fertilizers."
"As head of the procuring entity, respondent Kindipan had the obligation to ensure that the transaction he was entering into was fair, reasonable and advantageous to the government," the Ombudsman resolution said.
"By so acting, either he purposely closed his eyes to the irregularities or, at the least, failed to observe utmost diligence," it added.
Meanwhile, the complaint against Agricultural Technician Frederick Caclini was dismissed due to lack of probable cause.

Source: ABS-CBNnews.com  Posted at 10/15/2014 8:22 PM | Updated as of 10/15/2014 8:22 PM

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