FORMER Manila mayor Alfredo Lim and 13 other former city hall officials were charged with graft before the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged anomalous construction of a substandard school building in 2010.
The building was found to be structurally unsafe.
The complaint was filed by private citizen Rosemarie Fernandez on Wednesday. Fernandez said that the gravity of the defects in the construction of the Lim Building at Rosauro Almario Elementary School is such that there is certainty of it collapsing and endangering the lives of the students and teachers.
The building has since been abandoned after it was condemned by city engineers and the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Aside from Lim, also charged were former city engineer Armando Andres, project inspector Allan Beboso, former engineering and public works department Material Testing Division chief Teresita Laxa, engineer Manuel Obina, former designing division acting chief Walfrido Novero Jr., technical working group chairman Jose Ronaldo Siojo, bids and awards committee (BAC) infrastructure secretariat chairman Edgardo Holgado, Lim’s former secretary and BAC chief Rafaelito Garayblas, former city legal officer and BAC vice chairman Renato de la Cruz, BAC member Carlos Baltazar, former city budget officer and BAC member Alicia Moscaya, former city general services officer in charge and BAC member Leanie Sanding, and former OIC of the city planning and development office and BAC member Rodolfo Catu.
Also charged was Manila-based private contractor Carlos Barcelona, owner of CC Barcelona Construction, which won the bidding to build the P68.5 million Lim Building on January 27, 2010.
“The defects in the Lim building paint a clear picture of substandard services and grossly poor quality of work resulting to loss of millions of taxpayers’ money and which could have resulted to death of innocent schoolchildren and teachers,” Fernandez said.
She said the respondents “connived and mutually helped each other with deliberate intent through manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence to give unwarranted advantage, benefits, and preference to Carlos Barcelona.”
Lim is running for Manila mayor.