• Ombudsman dismisses Southern Leyte gov over illegal purchase of vehicles as city mayor

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    THE Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado and several others after it found them administratively liable for grave misconduct in connection with the procurement of three vehicles in 2007 when he was mayor of Maasin City.

    Likewise found administratively liable and ordered dismissed were then-Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Chairman Crispin Arong Jr.; then-BAC Vice Chairperson Feorillo Demeterio Jr., and; then-BAC members Anecito Narit, Benjase Lumen and Consuelo Ladrera.

    The Ombudsman also found basis to file a graft case against Mercado; Arong; Demeterio; Narit; Lumen; Ladrera, and; Baltazar Avila, who was then-supplier of Kojac Auto Repair Shop and Auto Supply.

    In a statement from the Ombudsman issued on Thursday, Mercado allegedly approved the purchase of three reconditioned vehicles totaling P2.3 million in 2007.

    The respondents allegedly failed to meet the requirement on “remaining useful life in the procurement of second-hand or reconditioned vehicles as required under Department of Budget and Management National Budget Circular No. 446-A.”

    The purchase requests allegedly reflected the brand of vehicle to be bought which, the office said, was prohibited under the Government Procurement Reform Act. REINA LEANNE TOLENTINO

     

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