By J. Jala, Marisol Bo-oc | 05:28 PM July 15, 2021
Former Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Lim on Thursday, July 15, 2021, filed a plunder case before the Office of the Ombudsman against Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap and members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
The case filed consolidated the irregularities in various Capitol transactions involving service providers and suppliers for rice, lights and sound systems, broadcast services, and overpriced fuel.
In his complaint, Lim said to cover the live telecast and broadcasting of the entire event of the Philippine Tourism Expo 2020 (PHITEX2020) held last September 22-24, 2020 in Panglao town, the provincial government contracted the services of Active Events Equipment Rentals (AEER).
“Based on the bid documents, the contract was made through negotiated canvass, and was awarded on November 6, 2020, and released on November 11, 2020, or way after the conduct of the event,” Lim said in his complaint.
He said there was no contract yet when the provincial government used the services of the company.Lim said based on the initial information, AEER is owned by Ae Damalerio, the former political campaign manager of Yap.
Damalerio is the former head of the Provincial Emergency Covid Response Management Team and a representative of the provincial government sitting in as Board of Director in Bohol Light Company.
Lim also questioned the provincial government after its BAC contracted the services of Ompoi Disco Mobile (ODM) in the celebration of Ube Festival and other public activities despite the quarantine restrictions.
The 2020 Ube Festival was done in the last week of January.
However, the contract was awarded by way of negotiated canvass only on May 4, 2020, by virtue of a BAC Resolution dated April 22, 2020.Lim said the other contract was also done by negotiated canvass which was dated March 11, 2021.
In both contracts, it was Ms. Daisybell Ansalan Pamugas who represented as the proprietor of ODM and is known to be the daughter-in-law of Mr. Larry N. Pamugas, a BAC member.
According to the complainant, at the beginning of the government-imposed lockdown due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) directed the local government units (LGUs) to purchase rice from farmers cooperatives in order to support the country’s agricultural sector.
The intention was to improve farm productivity, thereby improving the quality of life of the farmers. Lim said heeding to the said call, the Provincial Government of Bohol purchased commercial rice from the following suppliers, as follows: (a) D Plowman Multipurpose Cooperative in the amount of P117,000,000.00; (b) All Seasons Federation Cooperative, amounting to P35,000,000.00; (c) Shining Star Multipurpose Cooperative, amounting to P25, 000,000.00; and (d) Purita Trading in the amount of P18,000,000.00. All these were procured via direct purchase, Lim said.
It was known that the price per kilo of rice was P50.00, knowing it to be a direct price. It was also known that the suppliers are not farmers’ cooperatives and they are based in Pangasinan, instead of buying from the local cooperatives in Bohol or in the Visayas Region.
There is no proof even whether the said rice was fully delivered to the province, which even entailed a four-month delay in the distribution of rice aid to constituents.
Lastly, upon ocular inspection, two suppliers: Purita Trading and All Seasons Cooperative are no longer operational. According to the complainant, another irregular transaction entered into by the Provincial Government of Bohol through the Provincial Engineer’s office was the purchase of fuel from Petrobest.
It was shown that the prices of fuel were pegged at P61.48 or P62.49 per liter, which were higher than the prevailing prices of P46.00 to P48.00 per liter.
Lim said when asked for an explanation in an interview by the Bohol Chronicle, a local newspaper, Provincial Engineer Mr. Camilo Gasatan claimed that he made a purchase request for diesel fuel only at P52.00 per liter. He was not able to explain why the actual payments were for P62.19 per liter. In the summary of fuel issuances, it was shown that there was no difference in the actual pump price from the discounted price.
Lastly, the provincial government used alternative/negotiated procurement in purchasing Php5,500,000.00 worth of fuel.
“Based on the preceding allegations, Governor Yap, his Provincial Administrator, members of the Bids and Awards Committee of the Provincial Government and other officials are liable for violations of Section 3 (a), (g) of R.A. 3019, Serious Dishonesty, and Grave Misconduct,” he said.
In a statement Thursday, Yap said the complaint against him was purely harassment.
“I am ready to face any case of harassment. With the elections in 2022 just around the corner, this is expected. This will not however distract me from serving my fellow Boholanos,” said Yap.