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Herbert Bautista pleads not guilty to graft charge over solar power system



Former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista on Monday pleaded not guilty in the graft case lodged against him over a P25 million solar project and computerization program during his tenure as city mayor in 2019.

Bautista IS accused of committing graft in connection with the release of P25.3 million in payment to a contractor for the solar power system and waterproofing works for the Quezon City Civic Center building even after the firm failed to secure a net metering system from Meralco.

The Ombudsman said the net metering requirement was provided under the Terms of Reference and the Supply and Delivery Agreement for the said project numbered 1905-55463.

It was the second time that Bautista pleaded not guilty in a graft change in seven months.

Bautista also earlier pleaded not guilty in the P32 million graft charge filed against him in connection with the procurement of an online Occupational Permitting and Tracking System project awarded to another firm.

Government prosecutors alleged that said projects did not have the specific appropriation ordinance enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Likewise, state prosecutors said that such actions violate Section 3 of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or “Giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.”

The Ombudsman recommended a bail bond of P90,000 each for Bautista and Acuña for each of the graft cases. —NB, GMA Integrated News