MANILA—The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has ordered the dismissal from service of Lingig, Surigao del Sur Mayor Roberto Luna, Jr. for approving the unlawful purchase of Php 18.9-million worth of “ghost” communication equipment from Philflex Trading and General Merchandise (Philflex).
Likewise, ordered dismissed from the service were Jethro Lindo and Teofilo Maymay, both members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
In a 12-page ruling, the Ombudsman found Luna guilty of grave misconduct and serious dishonesty while Lindo and Maymay were found guilty of grave misconduct.
The respondents were meted the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Records showed that in 2007, the respondents purchased, via direct contracting, 36 sets SENAO SN 6108 long range radio/telephone consisting of 1 mother base, 9 units programmable handsets, 10 units battery chargers, 10 units chargeable batteries, 10 units telephone jackets, 1 unit connector, 1 unit umbrella type antenna with cable, 10 units operating manuals; and, 35 sets SENAO SN 568 super long range cordless radio/telephone double base with cable and umbrella type antenna.
Documents show that no public bidding was conducted for the multi-million peso pork barrel project.
The budget used in the purchase was sourced from the 2007 Congressional Initiative Fund of former Rep. Peter Paul Jed Falcon.
It was also uncovered that Luna approved the Php 18.9-million payment to Philflex despite non-delivery of the equipment and lack of supporting documents.
As a result, the Commission on Audit (COA) issued two Notices of Disallowance in 2011.
In case the penalty can no longer be enforced due to respondent’s separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to the respondent’s salary for one year.