Surigao Sur mayor dismissed for P18-M 'ghost' pork project
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal from service of Lingig, Surigao del Sur Mayor Roberto Luna Jr who faced administrative charges over the irregular purchase of P18.9-million worth of communication equipment, which appear to not have been delivered at all.
In a statement sent to media on Thursday, February 9, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said Luna was found guilty of Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty. Morales also dismissed Jethro Lindo and Teofilo Maymay from the municipal government's Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) for Grave Misconduct.
The P18.9-million budget was sourced from the Congressional Initiative Fund of former Surigao del Sur 2nd district Representative Peter Paul Jed Falcon. Falcon had already been charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan over the same case.
His other graft case, connected to a P13.1-million pork barrel allocation mess, has been dismissed by the anti-graft court for inordinate delay.
In 2007, Luna directly contracted suppliers for radio/telephone handsets and other accessories worth P18.9 million. Investigators found that the procurement did not undergo public bidding.
Moreover, the items were not delivered even if receipts showed that Luna approved the payment.
As a result, the Commission on Audit issued two Notices of Disallowance in 2011.
The dismissed officials face penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office. – Rappler.com