photo (left) by Jomar Figuracion

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of additional graft charges against Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno for the anomalous lease contracts of heavy equipment from 2007 to 2012 when he has governor of Misamis Oriental.

In a press release posted in its official website, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the filing before the Sandiganbayan of 18 counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) against Moreno as well as former Provincial Accountant Divina Bade (16 counts) and Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) members, namely: ex-Provincial Legal Officer Cancio Guibone (one count), ex-Provincial Budget Officer Elmer Wabe (17 counts), ex-Provincial Administrator Patrick Gabutina (16 counts), ex-Assistant Provincial Engineer Rolando Pacuribot (18 counts), ex-Provincial Agriculturist Danilo Maputol (two counts), ex-Provincial General Services Officer Elsie Lopoy (five counts) and Administrative Aide Leemar Tinagan (three counts). The resolution was approved in August 2017.

In its findings, the Ombudsman said the COA Special Audit Report stated that the disbursements for equipment rental for 2007 to 2012 “were irregular, with transactions amounting to P20,500,000.00 considered as fictitious as suppliers denied participation in the bidding process.

Respondents Moreno, et. al. did not conduct any public bidding for the multi-million peso lease deals and simply resorted to the alternative method of Shopping to rent tankers and road rollers while an excavator was procured thru negotiated procurement. Accordingly, several Notices of Disallowance were issued by the COA after finding that the “bidding for the rental was simulated or rigged.” 

In the related administrative cases, the Ombudsman further ordered the dismissal of Moreno and the rest accused after they were found guilty of Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty, Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and Falsification of Public Documents.

Full text of the press release HERE.


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