THE Pampanga Provincial Board (PB) has started investigating the case alleging irregularities in the local government's purchase of three brand new service vehicles.

The case, which was filed by Vice Mayor Matias Pineda at the PB and Office of the Ombudsman against Mayor Gloria Ronquillo, Municipal Treasurer Regina Carreon, Municipal Accountant Nympha Lacsina, local Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) head Gilbert Cruz, BAC Secretary Eliza Quiambao, and Bidder's Representative of JAC Automobile Rowell Benitez, alleged that the three service vehicles were purchased at an overpriced value.

Based on the complaint, the ambulance purchased by the local government amounted to P3,495,000, while the fire truck amounted to P4,995,000, and the mini dump truck amounted to P3,995,000.

Pineda also disclosed that Ronquillo allegedly did not secure a resolution from the Municipal Council authorizing her to purchase the said service vehicles.

On Thursday, January 13, members of the PB, led by Committee on Good Governance, Justice and Accountability Chairman Board Member Benny Jocson, personally inspected the service vehicles to check on their condition.

"Ininspect lang namin itong mga nabili nilang mga sasakyan at okay naman ang pagka-andar, iyong features at mechanism. Sinubukan din iyong fire truck, okay din naman. Nagamit na rin pala ng Bureau of Fire protection," he said.

He added that they will create a report on the result of the inspection, which will be tackled by the committee during the regular session.

The board member, however, declined to provide further information on the case since it is still ongoing.

"Mahaba pang proseso ito at itong inspection ay parte lang ng procedure at based on our internal rules, hindi na muna kami makakapag-comment pa," Jocson said.

Meanwhile, Ronquillo declined to comment on the matter as the case is ongoing but assured that she will cooperate in the investigation.

She stressed, however, that the vehicles are needed by the municipality, particularly the fire truck, which has already been used twice to respond to fire incidents in the town.