Quezon City — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal from service of incumbent Lingig, Surigao del Sur Mayor Roberto Luna, Jr. for approving the unlawful purchase of
P18.9 million worth of “ghost” communication equipment from Philflex Trading and General Merchandise. Also ordered dismissed from the service were Jethro Lindo and Teofilo Maymay, both members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
In a 12-page Decision, the Ombudsman found Luna guilty of Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty while Lindo and Maymay were found guilty of Grave Misconduct. Respondents were meted the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Records show that in 2007, respondents purchased, via direct contracting, 36 sets SENAO SN 6108 long range radio/telephone consisting of 1 mother base, 9 units programmable handsets, 10 units battery chargers, 10 units chargeable batteries, 10 units telephone jackets, 1 unit connector, 1 unit umbrella type antenna with cable, 10 units operating manuals; and, 35 sets SENAO SN 568 super long range cordless radio/telephone double base with cable and umbrella type antenna. Documents showed that no public bidding was conducted for the multi-million peso pork barrel project. The budget used in the purchase was sourced from the 2007 Congressional Initiative Fund of ex-Representative Peter Paul Jed Falcon.
It was also found that Luna approved the
P18.9 million payment to Philflex despite non-delivery of the equipment and lack of supporting documents. As a result, the Commission on Audit issued two Notices of Disallowance in 2011.
In case the penalty can no longer be enforced due to respondent’s separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to respondent’s salary for one year