12 years after the commission of the offense

TACLOBAN CITY- Five officials of the municipal government of Hinunangan in Southern Leyte were slapped with one month suspension without pay by the Office of the Ombudsman for the commission of a crime 12 years ago. The suspension of the officials, municipal budget officer Jocelyn Reytas, municipal engineer Armando Notarte, municipal planning and development officer Alenita Engcoy, municipal accountant Maria Linda Dator and foreman Adelaido Odilao, Jr., were found guilty of simple misconduct by the anti- graft court. The suspension of the local officials stemmed from the alleged anomalous procurement of a road grader worth P1.76 million in 2004.
According to the anti-graft court, the respondents deliberately violated the law on procurement, which prohibits specifying any brand names, when they prepared procurement documents.

The respondents reportedly specified that the municipal government bought a Mitsubishi model LG-2H for the road grader. “By doing so, respondents did not just unduly restrict the number of establishments that could have participated in the bidding, they further restricted the procurement of the road grader only to the establishments who can supply the specific model indicated in the procurement documents,” the Ombudsman said. Also included in the complaint was former member of the Sangguniang Bayan, Veronico Adlao. In the event that the penalty could no longer be enforced, it shall be converted to a fine equivalent to respondent’s one month salary, the Ombudsman said. (MEL CASPE)