Former LRTA chief, 12 others charged with graft

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The Office of the Ombudsman filed graft charges against former Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Melquiades Robles and several others in connection with the payment for the deployment of janitors in 2009.

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Also indicted at the Sandiganbayan were former LRTA Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) members Federico Canar Jr., Dennis Francisco, Evelyn Macalino, Marilou Liscano, Elmo Stephen Triste, and Eduardo Abiva as well as the former members of the LRTA SBAC-Technical Working Group — Nicholas Ombao, Roger Vaño, Maynard Tolosa, and Juliet Labisto.

Lilia Diaz and Dennis BN Acorda, who were from the Joint Venture of COMM Builders and Technology Philippines Corp., PMP Incorporated, and Gradski Saobracaj GRAS, were also charged.

Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Janet Cabigas-Vejerano alleged that the respondents conspired to give “unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to the Joint Venture, by paying it P3,373,808.51 per month for the deployment of 321 janitors while allowing and/or causing the reduction of the required number of janitors to be deployed by Joint Venture from a minimum of 321 to 219, thus, modifying the terms of the Contract with the Joint Venture for the Maintenance of the LRT Line 1 System, causing undue injury to LRTA in the amount of PhP1,072,051.30 per month or PhP12,864,615.63 in 2009 alone.”

A bail of P30,000 was recommended for each of the respondents’ provisional liberty.

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