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Sandiganbayan orders 90-day suspension of Cebu town mayor, 7 others

By Eddie Barrita

CEBU CITY, Sept. 26 (PNA) — A cebu town mayor and seven other officials were ordered suspended for 90 days for allegedly purchasing some P1.9 million worth of construction materials in 2007 without undergoing a public bidding.

Ordered suspended by the Sandiganbayan First Division were Mayor Cynthia Moreno, of Aloguinsan, Cebu and seven other officials of said municipality.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) 7 director Ananias Villacorta said the suspension order was received around 3 p.m. Wednesday by the mayor herself.

He said Vice Mayor Augustus Moreno, the mayor’s husband, will automatically assume as acting mayor.

“There is no need for the vice mayor to take his oath before the RD (regional director). By operation of law, he has to assume as acting mayor and can take his oath before any administering officer,” Villacorta said.

The Sandiganbayan also suspended Pepito Manguilimotan, municipal registrar and concurrent bids and awards committee (BAC) chairman; Nonela Villegas, municipal budget officer; Marilyn Flordeliza, municipal agricultural officer; John Lim, municipal assessor; Orven Nengasca, municipal engineer and property officer; and utility workers Emilia Luz Celis and Gertrudes Ababon, who are both BAC members.

The case against the mayor and seven others stemmed from a complaint filed by former Aloguinsan councilor Felimon Georsua Jr.

Georsua said the aluminum composite panels (ACP) for the new municipal building were purchased without bidding.

The ombudsman did not find documents to prove there was a public bidding. Only the bid documents of Diamond Interior were found by anti-graft investigators.

The ombudsman said the Municipal Government resorted to direct contracting since Diamond is also the exclusive distributor of the ACP.

The investigation revealed that the budget for the ACP was only P980,000 and the winning bid price was P979,237 but the Municipal Government’s disbursement voucher showed the purchase amount to be P1,190,037. (PNA)

CTB/EB

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