THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has required Representative Monico Puentevella and several others “to submit a statement of fund” used in the acquisition of “overpriced’ computer units in 2002 to 2005.

City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said Tuesday that in last Friday’s clarificatory hearing before the Office of the Ombudsman, “the Ombudsman wanted to have the statement of fund use submitted by the respondents.”

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Former city legal officer and the late lawyer Allan Zamora had filed a case against Congressman Puentevella, Department of Education (DepEd) regional director Victoriano Tirol Jr., Jessie Garcia, and Merryland Publishing Corporation for the said overpricing issue.

Bayatan said that in the November 20, 2009 hearing, the City Government manifested that the total package of computer units was P38,835,720. In 2002, it was allotted with P10,435,720; P15,200,000 in 2004; and P13,200,000 in 2005.

This, Bayatan said, “was grossly overpriced at P400,000, which the Ombudsman is now highly interested”.

He said that based on the position paper of Merryland Publishing Corporation, it was discovered that only 41 units were delivered to several public schools as recipients.

Bayatan said even in the last hearing, the respondents failed to submit their statement of fund use, adding that they also admitted the acquisition of computers did not undergo any public bidding.

He added that the computers were program in British English accent.

“If the intention of the use of computer is to promote education to Filipinos, it must be conducive for the Filipino use,” he said.

The hearing was attended by Bayatan himself, Puentevella’s lawyer Adelaida Rendon, Garcia’s lawyer Galileo Angeles, and Tirol’s lawyer Gregorio Austral. (MAP)