The Office of the Ombudsman has found Tanjay City, Negros Oriental Vice Mayor Lawrence Teves and two others administratively liable over an allegedly anomalous procurement of construction materials for canal repairs in 2011 when he was mayor.
According to a statement issued by the office on Monday, the Ombudsman found them guilty of simple misconduct as well as conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and thus ordered their nine-month suspension.
Also ordered suspended were then-punong barangay (village head) Denver Bokingkito and then-General Services Officer Bogard Colina.
“[A] repetition or commission of the same or similar offense would be dealt with more severely,” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales warned.
The suspension is convertible to a fine equivalent to the respondents’ six months’ salary in case they are no longer in the service.
Also, the Ombudsman found probable cause to file a case before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan against Teves, Bokingkito, Colina and former Sangguniang Kabataan Federation (Youth Council Federation) president Mar Francis Saguran for alleged violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The ruling, however, is still subject to a motion for reconsideration.
Graft investigators from the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman in the Visayas found that the respondents allegedly procured construction materials worth P280,876.34 for the repair of canals in Barangay 5 and 6.
According to the Office of the Ombudsman, documents showed that Teves allegedly resorted to Small Value Procurement without coursing the project through the Bids and Awards Committee.
In defense, Teves said “he approved the requisition believing that it will ultimately redound to the benefit of the city’s constituents.”
But Morales said “respondents should have complied with the requirements of procurement under RA 9184, may it be public bidding or under the alternative method of procurement.”
RA 9184 is the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Morales said “it is totally unacceptable that respondents, especially Teves, being the city mayor, did not follow the law” because “respondents are expected to know the law and implement it to the letter.”