Bislig City mayor, 11 othersdismissed by Ombudsman

THE OFFICE of the Ombudsman has dismissed the mayor of Bislig City, Surigao del Sur following an alleged anomalous purchase of heavy equipment in 2012.

Mayor Librado Navarro was dismissed for grave misconduct for the purchase of a hydraulic excavator worth P14,750,000.00. His retirement benefits were also forfeited and he is perpetually banned from being employed in government service.

Further the Ombudsman also ordered the dismissal of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Charlito Lerog (City Administrator); BAC members, City Treasurer Roberto Viduya; City Planning Development Coordinator Aprodecio Alba Jr.; General Services Officer Felipe Sabaldan Jr.; City Budget Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Belma Lomantas; OIC-City Engineer Lorna Salgado; City Legal Officer Daisy Ronquillo; and Technical Working Group (TWG) members City Accountant Raquel Bautista; Gilbert Abugan; Laila Manlucob; and Estefa Mata.

The case stemmed from the questionable purchase of the city government of a Komatsu crawler-type hydraulic excavator worth P14.7 million from RDAK Transport Equipment Inc. on 18 July 2012.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Audit (COA) evaluation report showed that the project was awarded to RDAK despite non-compliance with the technical specifications concerning the engine power, bucket capacity and operating weight.

Due to questions that attended the procurement, the COA issued a notice of disallowance on Oct. 23, 2012.

The decision stated, “the TWG’s manipulation of data in its report; the award of the supply contract to RDAK despite the fact that it did not truthfully present in its bid the Komatsu PC200-8’s specifications, and the bidding was a failure as none of the bidders’ proposals were responsive; coupled with respondents going for RDAK’s less superior unit notwithstanding its glaringly higher price, all show respondents’ bad faith and manifest partiality toward the said supplier.”

“By respondent’s concerted acts clearly favoring RDAK, they accorded it the benefit, advantage and preference it did not deserve. Such acts are clearly willful in character and evince respondents’ flagrant disregard of their duty to protect the public interest,” it added.

Posted in Latest News