Involving catering service worth P68,875

TACLOBAN CITY- Former vice mayor of this city, Arvin Antoni, is facing graft charges before the Sandiganbayan over an alleged irregular catering services deal.
The Office of the Ombudsman forwarded its recommendation to prosecute Antoni to the Sandiganbayan on August 25 but only made it available to the media last week.
Antoni, who served as vice mayor of the city for three terms ending in 2013, is facing three counts of falsification of public documents under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code involving a deal on catering services in 2007.
Graft investigation and prosecution officer Ma. Golda Gigi Miñoza said Antoni, in July 2007, falsified three public documents to make it appear that the payment of P68,875 to Rowan’s Catering Services was above board.
But based on their investigation, Antoni falsified an abstract of quotation of canvass to make it appear that Rowan’s Catering Services submitted the lowest price for the supply of heavy meals for the inaugural session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod or city council on July 4, 2007.
The ombudsman said Antoni was aware that it was another business entity, Suisse Catering Services, which submitted the lowest price for the meal supply deal.
Antoni also reportedly falsified an inspection and acceptance report to make it appear that it was Rowan’s Catering that supplied the food items for the event instead Suisse Catering which actually supplied the meals and the same were inspected and accepted by the city council.
The former vice mayor, who is a lawyer by profession, also alledegely falsified a purchase order addressed to Rowan’s Catering to make it appear that the city government ordered food items from the company, “when accused well knew” that a same purchase order was earlier issued to Suisse Catering.
The ombudsman recommended to the Sandiganbayan to set Antoni’s bail at P72,000.