Cavite ex-governor Maliksi to face graft charges
MANILA, Philippines – The Ombudsman is set to file graft charges against former Cavite Governor Ireneo "Ayong" Maliksi for purchasing medicines without public bidding and favoring a supplier in the process during his term.
In an order made public on Tuesday, November 4, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales denied Maliksi's motion to reconsider the joint resolution in July that found probable cause to charge him with violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The case stemmed from the complaint filed by then Vice Governor (now Governor) Juanito Victor Remulla.
The joint resolution by the Office of the Ombudsman stated the provincial government of Cavite during Maliksi's time entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in February 2013. It involved a P10-million grant for the purchase of medicines.
The first tranche, in the amount of P2.5 million, was released on February 4, 2003.
Ombudsman investigators found that Maliksi made the procurement even 3 months before the first tranche from PCSO came, and the contract was awarded to a preferred supplier, Allied Pharmaceutical Laboratories Incorporated, without public bidding.
This "irregular" procurement was shown in documents, such as the purchase request, purchase order, and the inspection and acceptance report.
Maliksi had explained that they skipped the requirement for a bidding because a emergency purchase had to be made.
Ombudsman Morales said there was "no imminent danger to life and/or property that ought to have been prevented."
The medicines were purchased in time for the Barangay Health Workers (BHW) National Convention in November 2002.
"[T]he distribution of ordinary medicines during the BHW National Convention is not a project or activity that cannot be delayed without causing detriment to public service," read the Ombudsman's order dated October 22.
Morales said Maliksi gave unwarranted advantage to Allied Pharmaceutical Laboratories when it was awarded the contract without being required to prove that it had the cheapest medicines among possible suppliers.
While Maliksi will be charged for graft before the Sandiganbayan, the complaint of misconduct against him in connection to the said contract was dismissed by virtue of his re-election in 2004.
The graft complaint against Maliksi's chief of staff, Nina Nguyen Lagac, was dismissed since there was no sufficient evidnce against her, the Ombudsman said. – Rappler.com