The Office of the Ombudsman has filed a graft complaint against six former officials of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) implicated in the alleged illegal purchase of substandard inflatable rubber boats from JOAVI Philippines Corporation (JOAVI) in 2010.
Named respondents were former DBM Undersecretary Evelyn Guerrero, who was then also the Chairperson of the DBM Procurement Service’s (DBM-PS) Inter-Agency Bids and Awards Committee (IABAC), and former Director IV Lourdes Santiago, who was then a member of the IABAC.
Likewise charged were former Procurement Management Officer V Julieta Lozano, who was then Head of the IABAC-Technical Working Group, as well as the members of the IABAC-Technical Working Group — former Procurement Management Officer III Mervin Ian Tanquintic and former Administrative Assistant III Alvin John Perater.
Former IABAC-Technical Working Group ad hoc member Lt. Malone Agudelo, and Anthony Hernandez, who was identified in the charge sheet as the Managing Director of JOAVI, were also included.
The Ombudsman’s Prosecution Bureau V Acting Director Ma. Christina Marallag-Batacan accused the respondents of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Batacan alleged that the respondents gave unwarranted benefits, advantage and preference to JOAVI by preparing and issuing a technical evaluation report and post-evaluation report in relation to the public bidding for the supply and delivery of seven inflatable rubber boats for the Philippine Navy. The rubber boat offered by the firm complied with the technical specifications prescribed by the DBM-PS “when in fact, it has not.”
According to the charge sheet, the AquaSport Hypalon Rubber Boat 470 – which was the rubber boat offered by JOAVI – “was not equipped with any intercommunication valves, over-pressure valves, and roll-up floor, which specifications were expressly required by DBM-PS.”
JOAVI also allegedly “merely copied” the technical specifications of Zodiac FC470 Futura Commando Inflatable Rubber Boat manufactured by Zodiac International and exclusively distributed in the country by S.A. Phils., Inc.
The Ombudsman recommended P30,000 bail each for each respondents.