Ombudsman junks DepEd noodle ‘scam’

Rappler.com
Case stemmed from the alleged rigged biddings that the DepEd held in 2007 and 2009 for the supply of fortified instant noodles

MANILA, Philippines – The case on the Department of Education’s (DepEd) alleged rigged bidding for fortified instant noodles has been dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman.

The administrative and criminal charges against former education chief Jesli Lapus, 5 other DepEd officers, and Alex Billan, president of Jeverps Manufacturing Corp, has been dismissed after the Ombudsman found no sufficient evidence to hold respondents liable.

The case stemmed from the alleged rigged biddings that the DepEd held in 2007 and 2009 for the supply of fortified instant noodles.

The government allegedly lost millions of pesos in the transaction due to overpricing.

“The charge that the biddings were rigged and favorably awarded to one and the same winning bidder was negated,” said the 18-page resolution, approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

The resolution stated that the biddings were conducted according to rules. It also pointed out that the complainants failed to show “palpably fraudulent and dishonest purpose” on the part of the accused.

The case was based on two separate complaints filed by Prudencio Quido Jr and Myrna Gonzales for Misconduct and violation of Sec. 3 (e), (f), and (g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The Office of the Ombudsman also found no substantial evidence to fault the respondents for misconduct.

The resolution also said that the overpricing claim was unsubstantiated, and that the claim that the noodles were of subpar quality was refuted by tests made by the Bureau of Food and Drugs (now Food and Drug Administration). – Rappler.com