• Echiverri charged over P2.9M drainage project

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    Former Caloocan City Vice Mayor Recom Echiverri was charged with graft by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales over an alleged irregular drainage project worth P2.97 million in Molave St., Pleasantview Subdivision, Caloocan City.

    The Ombudsman noted that the 2011 project, which was awarded to E.V. & E Construction (EVEC), was found to be irregular by the Commission on Audit (COA) because it lacked a specific appropriation ordinance and the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

    In October 2013, the COA issued a notice of disallowance against the project.

    “Without authority from the Sangguniang Panglungsod, Echiverri entered into a contract with EVEC, which constituted an unwarranted benefit and privilege granted to a private party,” the Ombudsman said in a statement.

    The law prohibits officials from causing undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of their official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.

    In a related development, former city accountant Edna Centeno and city budget officer Jesusa Garcia were also slapped with graft and falsification of public documents raps. The two were found guilty of grave misconduct and were perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

    The offense of grave misconduct carries the penalty of dismissal from the service. In case the penalty cannot be imposed due to separation from the service, however, it is convertible to a fine equivalent to the respondents’ one-year salary.

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