Bing, 5 others charged over ‘overpriced’ food packs

first_imgCity Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan called the allegations malicious, speculative guess work and fabricated. “This is a far cry from what was actually received by households…which…according to reports, was in variances of five kilos rice, five sardines and five noodles. Conclusively as to the quantity of the goods purchased by the city, the number does not jibe with the alleged number of household recipients,” they stated in their complaint affidavit. BACOLOD City – Mayor Evelio Leonardia and five other city hall officials and employees face criminal and administrative complaints over the alleged overpriced food packs distributed during the enhanced community quarantine in this city. According to Bayatan, the emergency purchases for food supplies to implement the program of work followed proper procurement procedures through the Bids and Awards Committee as required by law, before actual purchases were made at the most reasonable and fair prices. He revealed that the two complainants have a pending collection claim of P3.774 million from the city government involving “midnight purchases” of volcanic soil and aggregates base coarse made in March 2016, when the previous Puentevella administration was about to end. Wong and Cadagat claimed that with a budget of P14,400,000 for sardines, the city government could have purchased 834,782 cans and would have distributed 20 to 21 cans of sardines for each of the 40,000 household beneficiaries.They also alleged that the quality of rice distributed was nowhere near the quality of a P2,000 per sack rice. “When their billing was duly examined, it was discovered that the procurement made in March 2016 was among several ‘midnight’ purchases, and in violation of the 20-day minimum bidding period under the Procurement Law,” Bayatan said.center_img He described Wong and Cadagat as “disgruntled suppliers” of the city government and habitual “fake complainants”. Businessman Tony Wong and media practitioner Edgar Cadagat lodged complaints at the Office of the Ombudsman for gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, and malversation of public funds against Leonardia, Social Services and Development head Pacita Tero, Executive Assistant Jose Maria Vargas, and city hall employees Dannylyn Magallanes, April Rose Morada and Francis Aranez. Each recipient should have 21 kilos of rice, 30 cans of sardines and 21 packs of noodles, according to Wong and Cadagat, citing the program of work. The community quarantine prompted the city government to come up with emergency relief for 15,000 affected indigents and displaced residents. “Worse, they submitted delivery receipts worth only P1,260,473.10 against a claim of P3.774 million. Thus, the absence of complete delivery receipts is prima facie evidence that the remaining P2,513,526.90 partook of the nature of ‘ghost deliveries,’” the City Legal Officer said./PNlast_img