MANILA – North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza was indicted by the Office of the Ombudsman for the illegal procurement in 2010 of diesel fuel worth PHP2.4 million from a gasoline station owned by her mother.
Mendoza, who received flak over the recent Kidapawan farmers bloody dispersal, is set to face trial before the Sandiganbayan for three counts of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.”
Records show that Mendoza approved the release of PHP2.4 million from the provincial funds to pay for 49,526.72 liters of fuel used for one road grader and four dump trucks utilized during the two-day road rehabilitation projects.
No public bidding was conducted for the procurement of the fuel. Instead, Mendoza directly contracted with the gas station owned by her mother.
She claimed that “it was only the Taliño Shell Station which was willing to accommodate the credit term requested by the provincial government.”
In a statement, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said that “there was no compelling justification for dispensing with the requirement of public bidding.”
In the approved resolution released on Friday, the Ombudsman said that “the great disparity between the estimated 552 liters of diesel actually consumed for the two-day road maintenance project in Magpet vis-à-vis the 20,833 liters actually paid for, is proof that the fuel-purchase transaction is illegal and that this transaction is obviously a scheme to pocket government funds.”
The Ombudsman added that “[respondent] made it appear that the diesel fuel was procured and used in a government project when in truth, only a small portion of the fuel was actually used and the rest was converted to cash for the benefit of those who were involved in the fraudulent transaction.”