Thursday, 23 November 2017
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Mindanao local officials faces graft charges

Quezon City —  The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of charges against local officials from Mindanao, namely; Mayor William Duma-an and municipal treasurer Arnold Samon, both from Caraga, Davao Oriental; ex-Mayor Teodoro Acosta of Sominot, Zamboanga del Sur; and, former Regional Director Yusoph Mama of the Department of Agrarian Reform (Butuan City).
 
            The Ombudsman found probable cause to charge Duma-an and Samon with violation of Sections 3(e) and 3(g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) for non-compliance with the requirement of public bidding for the municipality’s projects.  Investigators found that in 2011, Duma-an and Samon authorized and facilitated the procurement of heavy equipment worth P32.7million.  No public bidding was conducted for the said acquisition and payment was approved without the requisite documentation.
 
            As a result, the Commission on Audit (COA) issued a Notice of Suspension in December 2011, which ripened into a Notice of Disallowance in October 2012, after respondents failed to settle the audit findings through the submission of procurement documents. The Office of the Ombudsman also found that the heavy equipment procured were not brand new.
 
            In a separate Resolution, the Ombudsman has also found ex-Mayor Acosta liable for three counts of violation of Section 8 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act No. 6713) due to his failure to file his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth for the years 2005, 2012 and 2013. According to the Ombudsman, “it is imperative that every public official to make and submit a complete disclosure of his assets, liabilities and net worth to suppress any questionable accumulation of wealth.”
 
            Meantime, respondent Mama was charged with Malversation of Public Funds for failing to liquidate his cash advances totaling P184,904.00.  The records disclose that respondent’s cash advances date back to 1997 and remain unliquidated despite repeated demand letters sent by the COA

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