The Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft charges before the Sandiganbayan against former Rizal Gov. Casimiro Ynares Jr. and several others in connection with the allegedly anomalous procurement of fertilizers in 2004 and 2005.
Also named respondents were then-Provincial Accountant Cecilia Almajose, then-Provincial Agriculturist Danilo Rumbawa, then-Assistant Department Head Romulo Arcilla Jr., then-Department Head Eugene Durusan, former Assistant Budget Officer Victorina Olea, former Provincial Legal Officer Eduardo Torres, former Provincial Engineer Danilo Collantes and former Provincial Administrator Virgilio Esguerra.
Mallyne Araos a.k.a. Marilyn U. Araos, former representative of Feshan Philippines Inc., was also charged.
Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer II Rachel Cariaga-Favila of the Ombudsman’s office accused the respondents of violating Sections 3(e) and 3(g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The case stemmed from the respondents’ alleged transaction in behalf of the provincial government with Araos for the purchase of 2,455 bottles of Bio Nature Liquid Organic Fertilizers paid in the amount of P1,500 per bottle or a total of P3,597,231.81 without the required public bidding.
The Ombudsman’s office also alleged that the brand name and supplier were specified in purchase request No. 6416 dated September 10, 2004 for 1,266 bottles of liquid fertilizers and purchase request No. 05028118 dated February 12, 2005 for 1,189 bottles “despite the availability of other foliar fertilizers for a lower price” of P176 per bottle and P187 per bottle, respectively.
The transaction resulted in an overprice of P1,676,184 for the 1,266 bottles and P1,561,157 for 1,189 bottles.
The Ombudsman recommended P120,000 bail each for the respondents.
REINA C. TOLENTINO