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Ombudsman fires 4 East Samar gov’t officials

(Photo by Alren Beronio / Ester News)

BORONGAN CITY, July 26, 2017–Four ranking officials of Eastern Samar provincial government were dismissed by the Ombudsman after they were found “administratively liable for Grave Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service” in connection with the fertilizer scam.

Ordered dismissed from the service are Vener Dulfo, Provincial Accountant, Vilma Bormate, General Services Officer, Necitas Ponferrada, Budget Officer and Samson Nervez, Provincial Planning Officer. Mr. Nervez has retired from the service in May, 2017.

The Ombudsman also meted the respondents with “accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office and barred from taking civil service examinations.

If the respondent has been separated from the government service, the penalty is converted into a fine in the amount equivalent to the respondents’ salaries for one year, payable to the Ombudsman.

The case stemmed from the implementation of the Farm Inputs and Farm Implements Program (FIFIP) of the Department of Agriculture in 2004.

In the complaint, the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office represented by Graft Investigator Gerhard Basco said that the provincial Government received two separate fund allocations of P5 million each for the program.

The first was received through former Cong Marcelino Libanan in March 2004, and the second from the DA Regional field unit 8 in April 2004.

The money was used to purchase NBEM-21 Microbial Soil Activator (fertilizer) from AKAME Marketing International.

But the respondents entered into transactions with AKAME for the purchase of the fertilizers without the benefit of public bidding.

In its decision, the Special Panel on the Fertilizer Fund Scam said that the respondents “committed Grave Misconduct when they repeatedly and blatantly violated Sec 10 of RA 9184 when they issued BAC resolution 6A and 16A, recommending the resort to direct contracting and without conducting any public bidding for the procurement of NBEM fertilizer. Moreover, they allowed the procurement of a non registered fertilizer from a non-licensed company”.

Respondents were members of the Provincial Government’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

“The complaint against Jesus Agda, Reynaldo Dorado and Manuel Japson was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and the complaint against Thomas Campomanes and Manuel Nicart was dismissed for lack of merit and by reason of death respectively”.

Libanan and Salazar were not included in the administrative case since their terms of office ended in June 2004. (Eden Cidro/Este News)

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