By Michael Punongbayan
MANILA, Philippines – Muntinlupa Mayor Aldrin San Pedro and 15 city councilors are facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged rigged bidding procedures and supposedly anomalous transactions for projects worth a total of P1.2 billion since 2007.
Abel Sumabat, a former head of the bids and award committee secretariat and self-confessed “bagman,” filed a supplemental affidavit before the Ombudsman Wednesday to clarify his allegations and including the 15 councilors as respondents. Sumabat is currently under the protection of the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
He named in his supplemental affidavit District 1 Councilors Raul Corro, Patricio Boncayao, Jr., Margarita Amythyst Labios, Baldomaro Niefes, Alexander Diaz, Ringo Teves, and Dan Hubert Barlis; and District 2 Councilors Luvi Constantino, Robert Abas, Neptali Santiago, Joselito Arevalo, Robert Baes, Elmer Espeleta, Rafael Sevilla, and Vergel Ulanday.
Sumabat, who held the position of Internal Auditor IV, said he believes his life is in danger because of what he exposed.
Records show he first filed a complaint on Feb. 20, accusing San Pedro of involvement in various allegedly anomalous transactions like the P889-million garbage hauling and disposal contracts were awarded to different firms without the conduct of public biddings over the past five years.
Sumabat said the P240-million contract for the rehabilitation of the Muntinlupa City Hall in 2007, the P22-million supply contract for trolley bags in 2008, a P130-million road asphalting project in 2007, the P55-million school building project in 2008, the purchase of three firetrucks and an aerial ladder worth P103 million in 2008, and the questionable purchase of 20,000 sacks of rice in December 2011, among others, should also be probed.
“Part of my work as bagman is to collect the SOP (standard operating procedure) due for each project, make advances from suppliers and contractors in exchange for contracts and PO (purchase orders),” he said in his affidavit.
“All the money collected will be remitted to the city mayor. Moreover, I was assigned to prepare all pertinent documents in the conduct of rigged bidding,” Sumabat added.