OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio Morales found former Misamis Oriental governor and now Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno and three other officials guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and ordered their dismissal from the service.
Also found administratively liable were Elmer Wabe (former acting provincial budget officer), Patrick Gabutina (former provincial administrator) and Rolando Pacuribot (former assistant provincial engineer).
The dismissal order carries the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and bar from taking the civil service examinations.
In a decision approved on Dec. 12, 2017, the ombudsman directed the secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to implement the dismissal order.
Investigation found that from October 2009 to October 2010, the provincial government entered into several lease agreements with Equiprent Corp. for the use of heavy equipment totaling P2,963,520. The Commission on Audit (COA) issued a Special Audit Report finding that “the rental of heavy equipment and the disbursement for payments were irregular due to deficiencies such as lack of public bidding and the necessary documents as required under Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act).”
The COA report also found that “the mode of procurement indicated in all the purchase orders for each payment was through public bidding, but no proof was shown that a public bidding was conducted. Also, at the time of the alleged bidding, Equiprent was not registered with the Philgeps as required under RA 9184, and in awarding the contract to Equiprent, the required documents were not submitted.”
Due to these irregularities, the COA issued a Notice of Disallowance on Nov. 10, 2014.
The decision concluded that “the said acts show a clear intent to violate the law on procurement and a flagrant disregard of established rule, and definitely gave a bad image to public service, tantamount to grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.”
(Source: Office of the Ombudsman website / http://www.ombudsman.gov.ph/index.php?home=1&pressId=MTI1MQ==)