The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered Muntinlupa City officials led by Mayor Aldrin San Pedro and Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac to answer two graft complaints and an administrative case filed against them concerning alleged anomalies in multi-million infrastructure and supply contracts.
In orders released last June 8, Director Nellie P. Boguen-Golez of the Ombudsman’s Preliminary Investigation and Adjudication Board-D gave the respondents 10 days to address the accusations leveled against them by complainant Abel Sumabat, former head of the city’s Bids and Awards Committee secretariat.
Named respondents in a graft complaint and administrative charge for grave misconduct and dishonesty were San Pedro, city budget officer Avelino Orellana, OIC-accountant Edwin T. Suitado, former city treasurer Nelia A. Barlis, OIC-city treasurer Romeo Pucyutan and BAC Roberto M. Bunyi and members Elvira Tulay, Michael Racelis, Vicente Navarro, Peter Salonga, Rodolfo Oliquino, Marissa Guerrero and Sonia Laureta.
Also implicated were Technical Working Group chairman Roderick Espina, TWG member Eduardo Bautista and city councilors Allan Rey Camilon, Ma. Luisa Babaran Echavez, Margarita Patdu-Labios, Melchor Teves, Icasiano dela Rea, Francis Ian T. Bagatsing, Mamerto Sevilla, Robert Abas, Joselito Arevalo, Vergel Ulanday, Rey Bulay and Cesar Pagkalinawan.
Sumabat accused them of collusion to defraud the city government by a supposed rigged public bidding for the supply of 40,000 pieces of trolley school bags purchased in April 2008 from CLMP Trading that the complainant said was a dummy company owned by former city treasurer Barlis.
In the second graft complaint, Sumabat named Simundac, councilor Ermie Espeleta, BAC member Rodolfo Oliquino, TWG members Eduardo Bautista and Glenn Santos, TWG chairman Roderick Espina and BAC Secretariat members Elvira Tulay and Marissa Guerrero.
This concerns allegations of bogus public bidding in the P130-million contract for the upgrading and rehabilitation of a national road involving the concrete blocking and asphalt overlay of Muntinlupa-San Pedro Boundary going to Alabang-Las Pinas Boundary.
Sumabat said the infrastructure project was awarded to Socor Construction Corporation whose general manager Dennis Lua was also named among the respondents.
Respondent public officials have earlier said Sumabat was trying to save his own skin by filing all kinds of criminal complaints against them after a number of city contractors exposed his extortion activities with promises of lucrative contracts.
They said the complainant is facing numerous criminal charges before the Muntinlupa City Prosecutors’ Office.
Sumabar resigned his position as head of the BAC secretariat last February and sought protection under the government’s witness protection program. – Peter Tabingo