FORMER Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella and eight current and former city executives were given 10 days to answer the administrative and criminal complaints filed against them before the Office of Ombudsman-Visayas in Cebu City.
The order dated September 18, 2017 was signed by Acting Director Euphemia Bacalso on behalf of Paul Elmer Clemente, Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas.
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 Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) overall coordinator Reynaldo Ebreo.
Montoyo said Thursday he received the copy of the order last Friday.
The order stated that the Ombudsman found enough basis to proceed with the criminal and administrative investigation of the violations of Section 3 (e), (g) of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act as amended, and violation of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The respondents are required to submit proof of service of their counter-affidavit and evidence to the complainant, who may file-reply an affidavit for an inextensible period of 10 days from receipt of the same, the Ombudsman 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 RA 9184.
“Some of the respondents are my friends, but they should answer this complaint. There is nothing personal here, it's just work,” he added.
Puentevella could not be reached for comment Thursday.