• Ombudsman fires Surigao mayor


    The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of Mayor Roberto Luna Jr. of Lingig, Surigao del Sur and two others after they were found guilty of grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.

    Luna, Jethro Lindo and Teofilo Maymay who were then-members of the Bids and Awards Committee, were proven administratively liable in connection with the allegedly anomalous procurement of P18.9 million worth of communication equipment in 2007.

    The respondents also face cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

    In case the respondent is no longer in government service, the penalty of dismissal is convertible to a fine equivalent to his salary for one year.

    The Ombudsman’s 12-page decision said “documents showed that no public bidding was conducted” for the project.

    The communication equipment and accessories were allegedly bought in 2007 through direct contracting from Philflex Trading and General Merchandise using former Surigao del Sur Rep. Peter Paul Jed Falcon’s Congressional Initiative Fund.

    “It was also found that Luna approved the P18.9 million payment to Philflex despite non-delivery of the equipment and lack of supporting documents. As a result, the Commission on Audit issued two Notices of Disallowance in 2011,” the Ombudsman’s ruling said.

    The Commission on Audit issued two sets of notices of disallowance for the procurement of 36 sets of long range radio/telephone consisting of a mother base; nine programmable handsets; 10 battery chargers; 10 chargeable batteries; 10 telephone jackets; a unit connector; an umbrella-type antenna with cable; 10 operating manuals and 35 sets of super long range cordless radio/telephone double base with cable and umbrella-type antenna.


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