Guv under fire over P2.4-M gas purchase-A A +A
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
DAVAO -- North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza is facing multiple counts of graft charges before the Ombudsman for buying P2.4-million worth of diesel fuel from gasoline stations owned by her mother without public bidding.
In an affidavit complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, Artemio Suico, a resident of Kidapawan City and a former Provincial Government employee, submitted copies of three disbursement vouchers allegedly signed by the governor.
The vouchers showed the payment of P2,434,668.99 for 49,526.71 liters of fuel allegedly procured from two Shell Gas Stations owned by Noemi J. Talino, mother of the governor.
Asked to comment, Taliño-Mendoza replied in a text message that she is not aware of the graft charges filed against her.
"I can't react because I have not known of any charges filed against me. I know of one fuel case filed by (former governor Manny) Pinol against (another former governor Jesus) Sacdalan. Ongoing ang case sa Sandiganbayan ata. That's why Sacdalan requested some documents from the provincial accounting office," the governor said.
Suico, in his complaint, also asked the Ombudsman to immediately place the governor on preventive suspension and to create an investigating team to look into other alleged financial irregularities at the North Cotabato Provincial Government.
In substantiating his allegation that Taliño-Mendoza violated the constitutional provision on conflict of interest, Suico submitted a certification issued by the Office of the City Treasurer of Kidapawan City, where one of the gas stations is located.
The certification attests that the Shell station in Barangay Lanao has business license under Talino Shell Station.
Suico also said the purchase of the gasoline was made without public bidding and the use of the fuel allegedly for the repair and maintenance of three provincial roads was questionable as the volume of fuel was much more than what was needed to undertake the project.
The huge volume of fuel was reportedly used for:
* Maintenance of Ginatilan-Bangkal-Manobo Road in Magpet costing P1 million for 20,833.33 liters of diesel fuel;
* Rehabilitation of the Carmen-Maridagao Road costing P934,669 for 18,693.83 liters of diesel fuel;
* Rehabilitation of the Lamitan-Bulacananon Road, Makilala costing P499,999.99 for 10,000 liters of diesel fuel.
Suico submitted photos of the road sections that showed these were in good condition and could not have required almost 50,000 liters of fuel to repair.
In his complaint, Suico attached the joint affidavit of two barangay officials in the town of Magpet where a road was supposed to have been repaired using P1 million worth of diesel fuel.
The barangay officials, in their affidavits, said they only saw five units of road repair equipment working in the area for only two days and these could not have consumed over 20,000 liters of diesel fuel.
In the same affidavits, barangay officials of Kisandal Magpet, namely: barangay captain Expedito Rafayla and councilman Roderick Sumadia said the rehabilitation of the Ginatilan-Bangkal-Manobo Road section in Magpet was done only for two days and used only one road grader and four dump trucks.
Suico, along with his complaint, submitted a table of fuel consumption per equipment prepared by the provincial engineering office, which showed that each unit of road building equipment could consume only about 60 liters of diesel fuel on a day-long operation.
"Based on these scientifically determined data, the biggest volume that can be consumed by a road grader for a low to medium road maintenance project like the Bangkal-Ginatilan Road Rehabilitation will only be more or less 36 Liters of diesel fuel per day. For a tractor, the average daily fuel consumption per day will be 60 liters of diesel fuel per day," Suico said.
Suico also said that based on the scientific estimates, the two-day Ginatilan-Bangkal Magpet Road Rehabilitation Project will only consume more or less 552 liters of fuel.
"Hence, based on these data and the accepted formula designed by the Provincial Engineering Office of North Cotabato, it would have needed 35 days for six equipment working eight hours a day to consume 20,833.33 liters of diesel fuel supposedly used in rehabilitating said road section," he said in his complaint. (With Malu C. Manar of Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 18, 2012.