Ex-town mayor charged criminally for ‘favoring her own businesses’

Published May 17, 2021, 5:18 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

National Bureau of Investigation

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday, May 17, filed criminal complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) against the former mayor of Siayan town in Zamboanga del Norte for allegedly favoring her own businesses with P32.3 million in supply contracts when she was the local chief executive.

Charged in the complaints filed by the NBI’s Anti-Graft Division (NBI-AGD) was former Mayor Flora Lagarnia Villarosa.

On top of alleged violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Villarosa was also charged with supposed violations of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and perjury and falsification of public documents under the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

Named as Villarosa’s co-respondents in the complaints were Siayan Mayor Josecor Gepolongca; her secretary, Jennifer Pumicmic, and Ana Dontar Marco who had sought to become a state witness due to her testimony that she was used by the former mayor as the dummy owner of Midway Gas Station and hardware store Midway Enterprises.

Both Marco and Pumicmic were charged with graft and falsification of public documents.

Mayor Gepolongca, on the other hand, was charged with obstruction of justice and alleged violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials.

The complaint stated that during Villarosa’s incumbency, “Midway Gas Station and Midway Enterprises bagged numerous contracts from the Municipality of Siayan, in Zamboanga Del Norte from 2014 to 2019.”

“The Contracts were composed mostly of supply contracts of materials and fuels for the Municipality’s handlings,” it said.

It alleged that Midway Gas Station secured 26 contracts worth P15,754,700.57, while Midway Enterprises got 164 contracts worth P16,569,618.58.

“Both businesses were awarded a total of 190 contracts or projects with a total amount of P32,324,319.15 million pesos,” the NBI said.