THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has suspended for one month and a day without pay five officials of Ronda Municipal Hall for their failure to post bid notices on the government website in 2012.
Eileen Mae Lagat-Alde, graft investigation and prosecution officer, suspended the respondents after they were found liable of simple neglect of duty.
“Posting in the website is mandated for all government procurement in consonance with the principles of transparency and competitiveness,” read Alde’s 10-page decision.
The suspended officials are Municipal Engineer Oscar Pilapil, Municipal Budget Officer Thelma Landiza, Municipal Assistant Treasurer Brigida Cabaron, and Frauline Requilme and Evelina Tan, bids and awards committee (BAC) members.
The case stemmed from the criminal and administrative complaint filed by Jonald “Moymoy” Blanco Ungab against his uncle, Mayor Mariano “Nonie” Blanco, and the five municipal officials last May 2, 2014.
Pilapil served as BAC chairman while Landiza and Cabaron served as BAC vice-chairman and member, respectively.
Ungab, son of Nonie’s sister and brother of incumbent Vice Mayor Jonah John Ungab, said the respondents violated Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act of 2003) for their alleged failure to post all the procurement notices of their municipality in the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (Philgeps).
It is the official website for government projects subject for bidding, which is one of the Commission on Audit (COA) requirements.
Ungab said only one of 16 invitations to bid for millions of peso worth of various government procurements of Ronda was posted the Philgeps’ electronic bulletin board for 2012 to 2013.
The respondents denied they manipulated the bidding process when they failed to post the invitation to bid in the Philgeps website to favor certain suppliers.
They said they submitted the Philgeps bid notice abstracts and invitation to bid and were posted in the bulletin board.
Mayor Blanco said they did not act in bad faith and malice in the performance of their functions. He said the alleged offense was committed in 2012 to 2013.
When he got reelected in the May 2013 elections, Blanco said the administrative complaint against him should be dismissed pursuant to the Aguinaldo Doctrine.
In the decision, graft investigator Alde said the respondents could be held liable for simple neglect of duty for their failure to post the bid notices in the Philgeps website.
“The office is aware of the policy that in promoting transparency and efficiency, information and communications technology such as the Philgeps should be utilized in the conduct of procurement procedures,” said Alde in the decision.