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Ex-Caloocan mayor charged with graft over P2.9-M drainage project

Rappler.com
Ex-Caloocan mayor charged with graft over P2.9-M drainage project
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales says during his watch, then Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri entered into a contract with a private firm without authority from the City Council

MANILA, Philippines – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has found probable cause to charge former Caloocan City mayor Enrico Echiverri with graft over an alleged anomalous P2.97-million drainage project in his city.

The Office of the Ombudsman said in a statement on Tuesday, June 29, that Echiverri violated Section 3(e) of Republic Act No 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The Ombudsman said former city accountant Edna Centeno and city budget officer Jesusa Garcia were slapped with an information for graft and an additional charge of falsification of public documents in connection with the project.

The case involves the city’s P2.97-million drainage system project that was awarded to EV & E Construction (EVEC) in 2011. The Commission on Audit (COA) reported several irregularities in the project such as lack of specific appropriation ordinance and Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) approval.

In October 2013, the COA issued a Notice of Disallowance. 

“Without authority from the SP, Echiverri entered into a contract with EVEC which constituted an unwarranted benefit and privilege granted to a private party,” Morales said.

In the related administrative case, Centeno and Garcia were found guilty of grave misconduct and perpetually disqualified from holding public office, the Ombudsman said

Grave misconduct carries the penalty of dismissal from the service. In case the penalty cannot be imposed due to separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to the respondent’s one-year salary.

Section 3(e) of RA No 3019, prohibits public officials “from causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.” – Rappler.com

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