ADMINISTRATIVE and criminal complaints were filed before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas in Cebu City against former Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella and eight current and former city executives on the split purchase of radio equipment for Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) in 2016.
The complaint was filed by executive assistant Samuel Montoyo on August 22, 2017 against Puentevella; Jerome Solinap, head of General Services Office and former chairman of Bids and Awards Committee (BAC); Victor Emmanuel Espina, former BAC secretariat member; Dr. Ma. Agueda de la Torre, former BAC vice chairman; and former BAC members Engineer Mae Cuaycong, Engineer Maximino Sillo, and Engineer Ephraem Hechanova; former supervising administrative officer Roger Dullano; and former BTAO overall coordinator Reynaldo Ebreo.
Montoyo said Tuesday that on October 6, he received a notice from the Ombudsman Visayas docketing the cases he filed against Puentevella and eight others.
“I called this ‘banana split scam’ because this involved the splitting of contract,” he said.
Montoyo said that on March 3, 2016, the administration of Puentevella procured 77 units of handheld radio.
He said the purchase request was made by Ebreo and was certified by Dullano.
Montoyo added that the first procurement was on March 15, 2016, with the total of 50 units of handheld radio amounting of P450,000 while the second procurement which involved 27 units was conducted on March 18, 2016.
He noted that the procurement was approved by Puentevella and was deliberated by BAC under the negotiated procurement-small value procurement.
Montoyo said the splitting of contracts is an act strictly prohibited under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
He said that based on the two abstracts of bids, Paul’s Electronics Repair Shop won the bid and was awarded the contract, but a search of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGeps) website showed that the request for quotations of the three potential suppliers were not posted on the website for a period of seven calendar days, as required by Section 54 of Rule 16 of the 2009 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) OF 9184.
Montoyo claimed the respondents are liable for criminal under Section 65, Article 21 of RA 9184 in connection with violations of Sections 54, Rule 26 of the Revised IRR of RA 9184, and violations of Section 3 of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
He said the respondents are also liable for administrative liabilities under Section 22 of Executive Order 292 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 on the Civil Service Commission.
“Since it is already docketed the Ombudsman will require the respondents to submit their counter-affidavits,” Montoyo added.
Puentevella could not be reached for comment as of Tuesday.