Ex-Antique governor, son in plunder case

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FORMER Antique Governor Exequiel Javier, his son incumbent Antique Rep. Paulo Everardo Javier and several others are facing plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged misuse of the province’s funds amounting to about P500 million.

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Radio commentators Wilson Geronimo of local station Voice FM and Modesto Montano of Radyo Todo FM filed the complaint on Friday afternoon, also accusing the Javiers of “non-feasance, malfeasance, dishonesty, and gross misconduct”.

Complainants alleged that the former governor entered into a contract for various infrastructure projects in the province with nonqualified suppliers under anomalous bidding process amounting to P389.69 million from 2011 to 2014.

Rep. Javier likewise, gave a substantial portion of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocation to the provincial government for a scholarship program “which turned out to be fraudulent double entries in the budget.”

What used to be the lawmaker’s P10-million allotment for scholarships matched with the province’s P10-million budget outlay also for scholarships, the complaint pointed out.

The complaint further alleged that: the province’s fuel and oil requirements totaling P10.87 million for January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 were “inappropriately procured through direct contracting and shopping” in non-compliance with the Government Procurement Reform Act; unobligated and unused P58 million PDAF “was not returned to the Bureau of Treasury” in line with the Supreme Court ruling declaring PDAF unconstitutional in November 2013; “payments of various infrastructure projects were released without complete documentation,” and; the provincial government suffered a P3.86-million loss in availing the services of High Integrated Medical Engineering Exponent Corporation (HIMEX) for CT scan and x-ray procedures in Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital from May 2012 to December 31, 2014.

Also named respondents were former Provincial Administrator Efren Esclavilla, also Bids and Awards Committee chairman; General Services officer Antonio Dela Vega who headed the BAC Secretariat; Assistant Provincial Engineer Ireneo Varona, BAC yice chairman; BAC members Fortunato Fabila Jr., and Dr. Ana Maria Moscoso of the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital.

The complainants also asked the Ombudsman to issue suspension order against the incumbent the public respondents except Rep. Javier who is beyond the anti-graft body’s disciplinary authority as a member of Congress.

Asked on the timing of the complaint, Geronimo told reporters“ We should bear in mind that they have been in power for almost two and a half decades. And you know for us media people in the province, tt’s bad for our health (sic) to go against a sitting congressman and sitting governor during those times.”

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