By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki
Former Lazi Mayor Orville Fua of Siquijor has been slapped with a graft charge before the Sandiganbayan Third Division due to the reportedly irregular purchase of fertilizers worth P4.99 million for the municipality back in 2004.
Fua was charged for violating Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act alongside six local officials and two private individuals.
They are then Municipal Accountant Ana Marie Leilani Monte, Municipal Treasurer and bids and awards committee (BAC) member Rose Marie Tomogsoc, BAC Chairman Ivan Marchan, Municipal Engineer Natalio Jumawan Jr., Private Secretary Sue Agnes Castillon, and Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Teodoro Jumadla Jr. For the private individuals, they are Magnolia Trading Co. Inc. representatives Yolanda Milne and Merlyn Lu.
On May 7, 2004, the accused local officials were accused of conspiring with Milne and Lu when they purchased 2,096 bottles of MRG Liquid Fertilizers priced at P1,550 per bottle and 1,258 bags of DEL GRO Super Foliar Fertilizers, also priced at P1,550 per bag. The total purchase amounted to P4,990,752.
However, Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Alteza A. Anoso wrote in the charge sheet that the transaction was attended by several violations of R.A. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
The accused prematurely issued the purchase request, made reference to brand names, and failed to secure a performance security bond. There was also lack of proof of the project’s implementation.
The accused have to pay P30,000 each for their provisional liberty.