Mayor Moreno slapped with more graft charges as dismissal order under appeal
FORMER MISAMIS Oriental governor Oscar S. Moreno, now the mayor of Cagayan de Oro City, will be facing more graft charges in connection with the lease of heavy equipment from 2007 to 2012, which the Commission on Audit (CoA) has disallowed. In 16 separate resolutions, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the filing before the Sandiganbayan of 18 counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) against Mr. Moreno. In related administrative cases, the Ombudsman has already held Mr. Moreno guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and falsification of public documents, among other charges. He was ordered dismissed from service in early June and meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, forfeiture of retirement benefits, cancellation of eligibility, and bar from taking civil service examination. The dismissal order is under a pending reconsideration case before the Court of Appeals. Included as Mr. Moreno’s co-accused are several former provincial officials, namely: Divina Bade, Cancio Guibone, Elmer Wabe, Patrick Gabutina, Rolando Pacuribot, Danilo Maputol, Elsie Lopoy, and Administrative Aide Leemar Tinagan. The COA Special Audit Report on equipment rental of the provincial government of Misamis Oriental for 2007 to 2012 “revealed that the road maintenance program of the province received the biggest share of the nonoffice projects and that the expenses for rental equipment is the third-biggest expenditure under maintenance and other operating expenses. The CoA also stated that the disbursements for equipment rental were irregular, with transactions amounting to P20,500,000.00 considered as fictitious as suppliers denied participation in the bidding process.” Mr. Moreno and his co-accused provincial officials also allegedly did not conduct any public bidding for the multimillion peso lease deals.