ADMINISTRATIVE and criminal complaints were filed before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas against former Bacolod City mayor Monico Puentevella and eight current and former city executives over the purchase of 10 vehicles for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) in 2016.
The complaint was filed by executive assistant Samuel Montoyo on March 27 against Puentevella; Jerome Solinap, former chairman of Bids and Awards Committee (BAC); Victor Espina, former head BAC secretariat; Dr. Maria Agueda Trinidad dela Torre, former BAC vice-chairman; BAC members Ephraem Hechanova, Mae Cuaycong, and Maximino Sillo; Roger Dullano, former supervising administrative officer; and Aaron Bais, former special operations officer IV and DRRMO officer.
Montoyo said on April 12 that the vehicles were requested by the DRRMO, but were used by the Bacolod City Police Office.
He said on March 4, 2016, Bais filed an obligation request for the purchase of disaster response and rescue equipment in the amount of P8.5 million.
Each unit of the brand new vehicle has an estimated cost of P850,000 which was also approved by Puentevella.
Montoyo recalled that on March 8, an invitation to bid (ITB) was posted on PhilGeps with the approved budget for the contract in the amount of P8.5 million and BAC published it in a local newspaper on March 9.
“It should be noted that the publication of the ITB was on March 9 and the pre-bid conference was held on March 11, a mere two days after the publication of the ITB. As required by law under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act stated that the earliest possible time to call a pre-bid conference should be seven calendar days after the date of advertisement and ITB or day eight of the timeline for the procurement process,” Montoyo said.
He said it is important to also note that had the BAC held the bid conference and the opening of the technical and financial envelope on March 27, 2016, as required by law, they would have been in violation of Section 261 (w) of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) or the Prohibition of Construction of Public Works.
“If the public officials involved were not in a hurry to circumvent the election ban of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), why then would the purchase order only be submitted to the supplier only on May 10, 2016, a day after the Election Day?” Montoyo asked.
Montoyo said that Puentevella and the former BAC officers violated the implementing rules and regulations of Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the Revised Administrative Code of 1997 on the Civil Service Commission.