Philippine Daily Inquirer



The Office of the Ombudsman has found sufficient basis to file graft charges against former Southern Leyte Gov. Rosette Lerias and five provincial procuremen­t officials over the anomalous issuance of a check for P2.31 million to buy fertilizer.

The procuremen­t was not covered by an existing contract.

The Ombudsman also ordered the filing of falsificat­ion charges against provincial government bids and awards committee members Virginia Cruz, Catalino Olayvar, Teopisto Rojas Jr., Fernando Moralde and Joseph Duarte.

Direct contract

According to the Ombudsman, the bid and awards committee resolved in August 2006 to engage the Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp. (PhilPhos) in a direct contract. A check for P2.31 million was issued as cash advance for the purchase of 2,514 bags of fertilizer.

However, the Office of the Provincial Accountant certified that “there is no record of an existing [memorandum of agreement] (MOA) between the province and PhilPhos.”

While the bids and awards committee used the purported MOA between the provincial government and PhilPhos to justify the resort to direct contractin­g, investigat­ors noted this was not a condition listed under Section 50 of the Government Procuremen­t Reform Act.

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