Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fresh docs show guv got favors: Moreno accusers

RADIO blocktimer Ronnie Waniwan yesterday claimed to have uncovered damning evidence that Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno violated the anti-graft law by allegedly receiving favors from a group of companies that has been running a famous hotel in the city.

Waniwan also said he and another radio blocktimer, Eddie Dangcal, are preparing to file four more graft charges against the Misamis Oriental governor.

Waniwan confirmed his and Dangcal’s plan to file more complaints yesterday, a day after the duo lodged a second graft complaint against Moreno before the ombudsman.

Waniwan said new documents he and Dangcal supposedly uncovered were ‘‘damaging.’’
The documents, said Waniwan, would show that the Moreno violated a law that prohibits public officials from receiving gifts or favors.

Waniwan did not elaborate.

But the four additional complaints, he said, would be based on the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) which looked into the finances of the capitol as of 2005.

On Monday, Waniwan and Dangcal filed a second complaint against Moreno for allowing the capitol purchase of medicines allegedly without a bidding.

The complaint came a week after the two accused Moreno of graft in connection with the COA’s findings that the capitol spent some P12.6 million for fuel provided to private vehicles in 2005.

Last Monday, they accused Moreno of ‘‘shopping’’ for medicines allegedly to avoid biddings.
The complaint was filed before the ombudsman around 4 pm on Monday.

Charged with Moreno were acting provincial budget officer Elmer Wabe, acting provincial accountant Divina Bade and provincial treasurer Amelita Pacuribot.

Waniwan and Dangcal, registered residents of Gingoog City and El Salvador town, respectively, alleged that Moreno conspired with Wabe, Bade and Pacuribot in purchasing medicines and other medical supplies through ‘‘shopping’’ without competitive biddings.

In a three-page complaint, Waniwan and Dangcal alleged that the officials violated Republic Act 9184 that requires for competitive biddings and released payments to suppliers to the the detriment of the province.

They said the act was also a violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Reads a portion of the Waniwan-Dangcal complaint: "In order to get away from public bidding, the province of Misamis Oriental purchased the medicines and medical supplies by splitting the purchase requests and purchase orders in order to reduce the amount per purchase order to below P250,000 in order to avail the alternative mode of shopping.’’

To avoid biddings, Waniwan said the capitol officials limited the purchase of medicines to P50 thousand a day.

But this was done daily, he said.

In one instance, they said, the capitol made several purchase requests and orders. Collectively, the medicines would cost P250 thousand.

"The only logical conclusion for this is because they were trying to evade competitive public biddings," said Waniwan.

He also said the capitol should have bought the medicines in bulk after a bidding so the prices would be advantageous to the province.

In their complaint, Waniwan and Dangcal asked the ombudsman to suspend Moreno and the other officials to ensure a no-nonsense investigation into the alleged irregularities.

This paper tried to ask capitol officials for their comment in regard to the complaint but to no avail.

Bade declined to comment, saying she was leaving matters to the office of the governor.

Moreno was not in his office when this paper tried to ask him to comment.
Moreno’s press office chief, Maricel Casiño Rivera, told reporters earlier that the governor welcomed any complaint against him and that the official was ready to defend himself before any court.

Moreno, in earlier interviews, claimed the accusations hurled at him by Waniwan and Dangcal were part of a demolition job launched by his political enemies.

Mindanao Gold Star Daily

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