Ex-Bohol governor indicted for graft

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Former Bohol governor Rene Relampagos, former vice governor Edgardo Chatto and 14 others are facing a graft charge before the Sandiganbayan in connection with contracts they entered into in 2001 regarding the electric and water systems of the province.

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In the charge sheet, which was approved by Ombudsman Con-chita Carpio-Morales and filed on Friday, Assistant Special Prosecutor III Manuel Soriano Jr. alleged that the accused entered into “contracts or transactions, which are manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government.”

Relampagos is now the representative of Bohol’s first district while Chatto is the incumbent governor.

The other respondents are Arnold Lungay, Isabelito Tongco, Eufrasio Mascariñas, Concepcion Lim, Exequiel Madrinan, Severino Caberte, Tomas Abapo Jr., Francisco Alena Sr., Felix Uy, Renato Lim, and Lemuel Digal.

Also included were former Provincial Planning and Development Officer Juanito Cam-bangay and former Provincial Attorney Inocentes Lopez, and private individual Den- nis Villareal.

Villareal was the president and/or representative of the consortium of Salcon International Inc., Salcon Power Corporation, and Pure and Pam Inc. or power consortium and the Consortium of Salcon International Inc., Salcon Philippine Inc. and Salcon Limited or water consortium.

The respondents allegedly conspired and entered into contracts or joint venture agreements (JVA) with the said companies for the Provincial Electric System (PES) and Provincial Water System (PWS).

“[I]n the contract or JVA for the PES, the assets and franchise of the latter would be transferred to the Power Consortium for Seventy Five Million Pesos (P75,000,000.00), while in the contract or JVA for the PWS the assets and franchise of the latter would be transferred to the Water Consortium for Eighty Million Pesos (P80,000,000.00)., or only a total of One Hundred Fifty Million Pesos (P150,000,000.00) for both the PES and PWS, despite the fact that the combined value of the two utilities is Seven Hundred Eighty Two Million Pesos (P782,000,000.00),” the charge sheet stated.

The P782 million is broken down into P135 million for the utilities’ fixed assets and P647 million for their franchise.

The Office of the Ombudsman recommended a P30,000 bail each for the defendants’ provisional freedom.

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