THE Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday ordered the filing of graft raps against a former Benguet mayor with the Sandiganbayan for alleged irregular purchase of P1.9 million worth of liquid fertilizers in 2004.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved the indictment of ex-Bacun mayor Bartolome Sacla Sr., ex-municipal treasurer Manuel Bagayao, ex-accountant Virginia Kigisan and Dolly Villaflor of Bry Crin Enterprises for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
In a 19-page resolution, the municipality of Bakun received P1.95 million from the Department of Agriculture under its farm inputs and farm implements program that formed part of the supposed P728-million fertilizer fund scam in 2004.
The municipal government used the funds to buy 1,300 bottles of Nutro Ocean fertilizers at P1,500 per bottle from Bry Cin Enterprises.
The inspection and payment for the supplier were made on May 7, 2004, but the items were actually delivered only on May 14 on that same year.
In its audit, the Commission on Audit found there was no public bidding conducted since the municipal government was not able to create its bids and awards committee, and that the fertilizers were grossly overpriced by as much as P1.74 million.
Based on the investigation of CoA, suitable fertilizers were readily available at the market at much lower prices, and that the products delivered were substandard and not registered with the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority.
As a result, CoA issued a notice of disallowance in January 2006.
“All these circumstances showed that public respondents, in conspiracy with Dolly Villaflor, acted with manifest partiality and gross inexcusable negligence in the procurement of nutro ocean fertilizers thereby causing undue injury to the municipality of Bakun and giving unwarranted benefit, advantage and preference to Bry Cin Enterprises and/or Dolly Villaflor,” the resolution read.