By Marisol Bo-oc | 11:27 PM March 18, 2021
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap. Photo: Gov Art Yap

Corruption charges have been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against Bohol Governor Arthur Yap and his provincial administrator Kathyrin Fe Pioquinto of the provincial government of Bohol before the Office of the Ombudsman, on Wednesday (March 17, 2021) for alleged anomalous transactions.

In a 35-page joint complaint affidavit submitted to Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday (March 17, 2021) by former Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Lim, the respondents were accused of various irregular and corrupt practices with overpriced and questionable purchases from suppliers with dubious financial, legal or technical credentials and track record.

They were accused of procuring “overpriced” eight units of motorcycles worth P718,000 from TWIS Trading which appears that one motorcycle costs P89,750.

“Upon verification, a Honda XRM 125 only costs about P55,000.00 for a brand new and P18,000.00 for a second hand. Comparing the market price and the cost as purchased, there is an overprice of P34,750.00 per unit or P278,000.00 for eight units. It is also very illogical to buy from a company in Cabuyao Laguna City (Luzon) instead of from the province of Bohol (Visayas), where no more transportation costs to be added. When the address of the company was checked, there was no such TWIS Trading that exists. The address given is a residential one, phone unattended, no office, and no helpdesk support and showroom, ” the complainant said.

“Comparing the market price and the cost purchased there is an overprice of P34,750 per unit or P278,000 for eight units,” read the complaint.

Based on the complaint, Yap’s government also allegedly made another questionable transaction with TWIS Trading for procuring an ambulance worth more than P20 million.

“TWIS Trading was awarded the procurement of a Basic Life Support Ambulance in the amount of P20,993,000, one that should be scrutinized because a BASIC life support ambulance would not cost that price,” read the complaint.

The provincial government of Bohol also reportedly awarded its second project to TWIS trading for the purchase of communication and security system with a contract price worth P68,714,500.

“It must be noted that the same company has a questionable personality. Specifically, the prices of computers based on the specifications are more than the regular and market prices,” he said.

Lim said that another irregular transaction entered into by the provincial Government of Bohol was the rental of the light and sound system of PTM Disco Record Center, intended for the Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) 2020 which was held in Panglao. The closing program of the activity was on September 25, 2020. However, the Notice of Award for the said procurement was only issued on December 18, 2020, or three months after the activity was conducted. According to Lim, it was by the negotiated sale that this transaction was consummated

On June 29, 2020, a Notice of Award was issued by Governor Yap to Dextel Trading for the purchase of Mobile X-Rays in the total contract price of P22,788,000.00. Each unit is worth P3,798,000.00.

“However, upon checking with various suppliers, the cost of the unit of the same specification is only P950,000.00. In this case, there is overpricing of each unit in the amount of P2,848,000.00 or a total amount of P17,000,000.00,” the complainant said.

The complaint insisted that while there were negotiated sales to justify the procurement, the provincial Government has clearly favored TWIS Trading among other bidders by awarding three projects without ascertaining its capacity to deliver the items. As shown on the business address, there is no indication that it has a legitimate business capable of transacting millions of pesos, thus a showing of gross negligence.

Lim said it is unlawful to enter on behalf of the Government into any contract or transaction, manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby, it added.

“There is also no doubt that Governor Yap, Pioquinto and the BAC Members committed dishonesty. It is defined as the disposition to lie, cheat, deceive or defraud; untrustworthiness; lack of integrity; lack of honesty, probity or integrity in principle; lack of fairness and straightforwardness; disposition to defraud, deceive or betray, ” the complainant said.

Lim urged the anti-graft body to “hold the respondents criminally and administratively (liable) if found guilty”.

By Bohol Island News

Your reliable source of news and content in the island and the rest of Central Visayas and Mindanao.

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