The Office of the Ombudsman has suspended for six months Basilan vice mayor after he was found guilty of grave misconduct in connection with the P548, 256.00 Boat Landing Project and the P175,000 scuba diving course as part of the local government’s Geographical Protection and Awareness Program.
In the order made public Thursday, Vice Mayor Roderick Furigay has been suspended for six months without pay.
Also suspended were Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) members namely Chairman Florence Herrera, Acting City Accountant Nilo Sotto, BAC members: Ignacio Enriquez, Olivia Ablao, and Raquel Hibionada. They were found guilty of simple misconduct and were suspended for a month.
Investigators from the Ombudsman found out that Furigay is closely related to the owners and incorporators of HHH Developer and Real Estate, Inc. (HDRI) who received the P548,256 payment for the Kulay-Bato Boat Landing Project, as well as the owners of the Furigay College Inc. (FCI) who received the P175,000 payment for the scuba diving course.
“Respondents Furigay as the approving officer of the contracts and the ensuing disbursements, Sotto as the certifier of the regularity as well as the completeness of the supporting documents and Herrera, Enriquez, Ablao and Hibionada as the BAC members, who recommended the award are liable for misconduct,” the Ombudsman ruling stated.
“The impression that suppliers who have a relationship with the procuring entity are given preference, and the appearance of unlawfulness or impropriety that arises when purchase transactions are entered with them, should have cautioned respondents to be extra careful with their actions,” the Ombudsman said.
“Respondent Furigay’s act of permitting the business transaction of his close relatives lacked the necessary justifications as to render them aboveboard, not to mention that the supporting procurement documents are highly questionable, gives away a contrary disposition on his part, and his tendency to succumb to corruption,” the Ombudsman added. /jpv
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