• Ex-PNR general manager, eight others face graft raps


    THE Office of the Ombudsman has filed two counts of graft at the Sandiganbayan against a former head of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) and eight others.

    Charged were ex-PNR General Manager Junio Norberto Ragragio, then-Division Managers Rosendo Calleja and Abdul Aziz Pangandaman; then-Department Managers Estelito Nierva and Ruben Besmonte; then-Attorney V Neofito Perilla; then-Assistant Department Manager Divina Gracia Dantes, and; then-Principal Engineers Cesar Bocanog and Mario Arias.

    The Ombudsman alleged in the charge sheets that the accused, “conspiring and confederating with one another,” “g[a]ve unwarranted benefits, preference or undue advantage to Nikka Trading…by purchasing” a total of 10,490 pieces of Larch wood bridge ties, a total of 942 pieces of Larch wood joint ties, and a total of 41 sets of Larch wood switch ties in the total amount of about P47.13 million.

    The Ombudsman alleged that “accused knew fully well that the Board Resolutions and all bidding documents required Yakal wood bridge ties, joint ties and switch ties…”

    On Friday, November 10, the cases, which were filed on November 7, were raffled off to the Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division.

    The Ombudsman recommended a total of P60,000 bail for each accused (it recommended P30,000 bail in each of the two graft cases). MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO




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