Thursday , June 21, 2018

Airport official cleared

THE Sandiganbayan has junked the graft case against former Mactan airport general manager Adelberto Yap relative to the allegedly anomalous purchase of radio equipment worth P168,000 in 2005.

The anti-graft court’s Second Division granted Yap’s motion to dismiss the case, saying the six-year delay from investigation to the filing of the case violated his constitutional rights to a speedy trial.

“Clearly, such delay in terminating such investigation run counter to the ombudsman’s duty as mandated by the Constitution and considerably capricious and vexatious that warrants the dismissal of the instant case,” read the Sandiganbayan’s resolution penned by Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna.

The case stemmed from the purchase of one radio repeater by the Airport Operations Department of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).

Complainant lawyer Rogelio Yaun lodged the complaint against Yap, Veronica Ordonez, and lawyer Sigredo Dublin, bids and awards committee (BAC) chairman.

Yaun alleged that the purchase of a radio repeater device was “grossly disadvantageous” to the government since the agency issued the notice of award to a bidder, which, although it offered the lowest bid, submitted a re-canvassed bid of P168,000.

Four suppliers submitted their bids for the projects. The airport BAC officers issued the abstract of canvass to MS Electronic Center, being the lowest bidder at P92,000.

But instead of approving the purchase order, Yap ordered the re-canvassing of the equipment. MS Electronics submitted a re-canvassed bid for P168,000. The BAC eventually awarded the radio equipment to MS Electronic.

Yap, however, denied the charges, saying his order to re-canvass was issued due to the preference for a radio brand Kenwood repeater system since their office has been using the same handheld portable radio.

Dublin and Ordonez also denied the allegations, arguing that documents presented showed the sole bidder is the exclusive dealer of the Kenwood repeater system.

In his two-page comment, Deputy Visayas Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol “provisionally dismissed” the graft and misconduct charges, saying there’s an “indication of possible irregularity” in the procurement of equipment.

But in its resolution dated Aug. 24, 2016, the Ombudsman-Luzon indicted Yap for violation of the anti-graft law.

Yap sought the case dismissal for violation of his right to speedy trial. While Apostol, the former deputy ombudsman, downgraded the complaint into a fact-finding investigation in 2008, the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office filed another complaint against Yap on April 30, 2014. (GMD)