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Ombudsman files graft charges against Zambo del Sur Rep. Cerilles, others for medical supply scam
The Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday ordered that graft charges be filed against Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Aurora Enerio-Cerilles before the Sandiganbayan for overpriced medical supplies bought in 2001 to the tune of nearly P7 million.
The Commission on Audit (COA) found out that P6.879 million worth of medical supplies were solely procured from U-Net Distributors Corporation.
The transaction was deemed irregular by the Ombudsman’s Office, and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered that a criminal information sheet be filed before the anti-graft court for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Cerilles did not follow the procurement procedure, The Ombudsman alleged citing that the local government could have saved more than P1.204 million by holding a public bidding instead of giving the business to a single supplier.
“There is reason to believe that [they] had unlawfully allowed the direct purchase of medicine supplies from U-Net Distributors Corporation despite knowing that the situation does not call for such kind of purchase and notwithstanding that the documents supporting the identity of the said distributor as an exclusive distributor are questionable,” according to the Ombudsman.
As of this posting, Cerilles was not available for comment. Her staff member Margie Bancoro said the representative may issue a statement next week.
The others who were charged were Marina Tudio-Tampus, then the provincial accountant officer-in-charge (OIC); Estita Tago, OIC provincial budget officer; Malaya Ysmael, OIC general services officer; Corazon Silla-Ariosa, chief the of Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Hospital. They were all members of the province's Bids and Awards committee.
Also charged were private individuals Rey Morgada and Neil Cruz, who acted as representatives of U-Net Distributors that bagged the supply contract. — VS, GMA News
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