• Ex-PRC chief, 4 others face graft over lease deal

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    The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to file graft charges before the Sandiganbayan against former Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Chairman Teresita Manzala and several others over alleged anomalies in the 2012 lease contract for the agency’s regional office in CTLL Building, Kisad Road in Baguio City.

    Also facing indictment were former Commissioner Alfredo Po; former Regional Director Teofilo Gaius Sison Jr., now director of the PRC’s Office of Financial and Administrative Services; former Supervising Professional Regulations Officer Tricia Camara; and former Chief Professional Regulations Officer Sarah Edna Tabije, now officer-in-charge of the PRC’s Licensure Office.

    “[R]espondents’ actions indicate their obvious preference for CTLL Building and circumvented the legally-mandated procurement process to ensure its selection as PRC Baguio’s relocation site,” the Ombudsman quoted its resolution in a statement issued on Monday.

    The Ombudsman investigators found that the respondents allegedly approved the 15-month lease deal and allegedly paid over P6.6 million in rental fees, advance rentals and deposits from December 2012 to December 2013 supposedly without complying with the requirements under the procurement law.

    The investigators found that the Bids and Awards Committee allegedly “had no copies of any request for expression of interests, request for quotation, performance of warranties and securities, resolution recommending award, notice of award.”

    Meanwhile, the Ombudsman found Sison and Tabije administratively liable for grave misconduct and ordered their dismissal from the service with the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancelation of eligibility and forfeiture of retirement benefits.

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