FORMER Antique Gov. Exequiel Javier and his son, Antique Rep. Paulo Everardo Javier, are facing a plunder complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman by two local journalists in connection with alleged anomalous projects in the province amounting to P500 million.
Wilson Geronimo of Voice FM radio and Modesto Montano, a freelance broadcaster, charged the two Javiers and seven others of plunder over alleged rigged bidding of infrastructure projects, overpriced purchases and other serious violations of the procurement law based on the findings of the Commission on Audit.
The complainants said the Javiers must be held criminally liable for violation of Republic Act 7080 or the Plunder Law and administratively accountable for non-feasance, malfeasance, dishonesty and grave misconduct.
“Ex-governor [Exequiel] Javier, in conspiracy with, and with the indispensable complicity of his co-respondents herein, purposely and systematically orchestrated the massive raid, diversion and/or misuse of the funds of the Province of Antique as found by the Commission on Audit,” the complaint read.
Also named as co-accused were provincial administrator and bids and awards committee chairman Efren Esclavilla, BAC secretariat head and provincial general services officer Antonio de la Vega, BAC vice chairman and assistant provincial engineer Ireneo Varono, BAC member Fortunato Fabila Jr. and Ana Maria Moscoso.
Private individuals—Norberto Fedelicio and Nestor Kho Yute—owners of construction firms Settlers Builders and NK Enterprise, respectively, were implicated.
Based on the complaint, P500 million of government funds was plundered by the respondents during the term of the older Javier as governor from year 2000 until he was ordered removed from office by the Commission on Elections on Feb. 2, 2015.
Javier was removed from his post for the suspension of a mayor in the 2013 election.
Based on the 2015 audit memorandum, P500 million worth of infrastructure projects were awarded to Settlers Builders and NK Enterprise with rigged biddings and with the two construction firms having no proven financial capacity to carry out the projects.
The complainants averred the construction firms, suspected to be fronts of the older Jav ier, bagged the various infrastructure projects.
Geronimo and Montano said Settlers Builders and NK Enterprise were ineligible as the concerned contracts for the projects were way beyond their net financial contracting capacity.
The two construction firms had been black-listed for failure to complete previous projects on time and to submit the necessary documents by the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Apart from the alleged anomalous infrastructure projects, the complainants said the CoA memorandum also showed the younger Javier had incurred P58 million in unobligated and unutilized Priority Development Assistance Fund to be returned to the Bureau of Treasury
The complainants said the younger Javier allocated annually about P10 million of his PDAF for a supposed scholarship program in Antique despite fundings from the provincial government.
“The P10 million per year allocation of what used to be the PDAF scholarship program of Congressman Javier was also matched with a similar P10 million budget outlay by the Provincial Government for the scholarship of limited students, a case of double entry,” the complaint read.