THREE former officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte are facing graft charges in connection with the allegedly anomalous purchase of 32 units of cellular phones costing beyond the allocated budget in 2007.
Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman ordered the filing of charges before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan against former Schools Division Superintendent Aurora Cubero, Division Superintendent Salvacion Yumang, and Administrative Officer Emma Betonio.
The respondents allegedly facilitated the purchase of the 32 cell phone units by means of direct shopping and cash advance, saying that the items were “exceptionally necessary and indispensable for official use,” according to the Office of the Ombudsman.
But “the prevailing threshold for shopping (in 2007) was only P50,000.00 for unforeseen contingency requiring immediate purchase, and P250,000.00 for ordinary or regular office supplies and equipment not available in the procurement service,” Elman said.
“[T]here is nothing to show that the cellular phones are ordinary or regular office supplies” as qualified under the procurement laws, he added.