• Ombudsman says ex-PLM execs liable for ‘illegal’ van purchase

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    The Office of the Ombudsman has found former Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) Acting President Jose Roy 3rd, Vice President for Finance and Planning Angelita Solis, and several others administratively liable for the alleged illegal purchase of a van worth P1.1 million in 2006.

    After finding them guilty of grave misconduct, the Ombudsman ordered Roy and Solis dismissed from the service along with Cecilia Calma, Angeles Ramos, Eloisa Macalinao, Felix Aspiras and Albert dela Cruz who were all from the PLM.

    Roy and his co-accused also face perpetual disqualification from holding public office and forfeiture of retirement benefits.

    In its decision, the Ombudsman found that the university officials purchased a Hyundai Starex van without calling for a public bidding and “unlawfully” resorted to direct contracting as a mode of procurement.

    The Commission on Audit (COA) issued a Notice of Suspension for the transaction, saying that procurement regulations were not complied with and that there was a lack of the university’s annual procurement plan.

    In their defense, the respondents said that the “decision to resort to direct contracting stemmed from the urgency of the end-user’s need.”

    However, the Ombudsman held that the “respondents deliberately disregarded the requirements of R.A. [Republic Act] 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act) to favor and give benefits to the dealer of Hyundai Starex van.”

    In case the respondents are no longer in the service, the penalty of dismissal is convertible to a fine equivalent to their one year salary.

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