Ex-DA execs in Region 1 face graft raps for P2.9-M fertilizer fund scam

Saturday, January 6th, 2018. Filed under: Hometown News Philippine News

MANILA, Dec 28 (Mabuhay) –Two former ranking officials of the Department of Agriculture in Region I have been charged with graft over the alleged anomalous purchase of more than 1,900 bottles of liquid fertilizer in 2004 worth almost P2.9 million.

Based on the charge sheet, former regional executive director for Region I Renerio Belarmino and former regional technical director Flora Gagni will face three counts for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The Office of the Ombudsman also charged accountant Avelina Soriano, and Bids and Awards Committee members Francisco Casil, Lourdes Gonzales, Maribel Cabradilla, and Jonathan Bugaoan in the case.

CentralLuzonFarmersAgroCenter (CLFAC) proprietor Cristina Pangilinan and BALS Enterprises owner Jonar Balisi were named as private respondents.

In April 2004, the respondets favored Pangilinan for CLFAC to secure the contract for the supply of 366 bottles of Algazinc Plus liquid foliar fertilizer for the price of P1,500 each or a total of P549,000.

They also awarded a contract to BALS for the supply of 1,300 bottles of Fil-Ocean liquid fertilizers priced at P1,500 per piece for a total amount of P1.95 million.

The respondents favored another private company, Mangopina Trading, for the purchase of 274 bottles of MRG liquid foliar fertilizers worth P411,000.

The Ombudsman said the respondents “tailored-fit” the contract in favor of the three companies after they certified that there were no suitable substitute for the fertilizer.

Belarmino and his co-accused allegedly conspired with another in favoring the three firms.

Furthermore, none of the contracts underwent a public bidding.

Bail bonds of P90,000 and P30,000 have been recommended for the former public officials and private respondents, respectively. (MNS)

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