THE Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to charge seven local officials of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, for one count of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019).
Facing trial for graft before the Sandiganbayan are former mayor Annaliza Gonzales-Kwan, Arsenio Salamida (municipal engineer), Esperanza Cotin (municipal budget officer), Felipe Padual (administrative officer), Danilo Colandog (market supervisor), Gilberto Labicane (draftsman), and Ma. Nenita Ecleo (municipal planning development officer).
Investigators found that the local officials failed to comply with the regulation regarding the resort to negotiated procurement of a P1.9-million worth of fire truck in 2007.
The officials availed of the negotiated procurement without proving that they complied with the requirement of two failed biddings as required in Republic Act (RA) 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act).
Under section 3(e) of RA 3019, public officials are prohibited from causing any undue injury to any party, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. (Ricky J. Bautista)