Sunday August 19, 2018

Purchase of ‘overpriced’ fertilizers in 2004 hounds Poro town’s vice mayor

PORO, Camotes Mayor Luciano Rama defended his nephew who was implicated in an allegedly anomalous transaction involving fertilizers, saying he is only a victim of corruption in government during the Arroyo administration.

His nephew, Vice Mayor Edgar Rama, along with Rep. Nancy Catamco (North Cotabato, 2nd District) and Pompey Perez are facing two counts of graft and corruption before the Sandiganbayan and will face arraignment and pre-trial on June 22.

Aside from Vice Mayor Rama, several other municipal officials were charged before the Sandiganbayan for the purchase of allegedly overpriced fertilizers.

Mayor Rama said the P5 million that was used to buy the liquid fertilizers was downloaded by the National Government to the Poro Municipal Government before Catamco made local officials receive the supplies.

Catamco and Perez, her former husband, sold the liquid fertilizers to the Poro Municipal Government in 2004.

“The Commission on Audit (COA) personnel know that the liquid fertilizers were not used by the farmers,” Mayor Rama said.

The mayor pointed out that COA only required the vice mayor and other municipal officials to return the amount on installment. COA only wanted to recover the funds, he said.

“I was informed that all the officials involved in the purchase of fertilizers have already refunded the amount on installment. But COA has nothing to do with the case against them,” he said. (EOB)