Anomalous procurement of vehicles: Mayor guilty, ex-gov merely fined P5K

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    INCUMBENT Albuera, Leyte mayor Sixto de la Victoria and former Capiz Governor Vicente Bermejo were both charged before the Sandiganbayan of illegally approving the procurement of service vehicles without going through a public bidding.

    The mayor ended up with a six-year prison sentence and a life-long ban from holding another position in government while the former governor only got fined P5,000.

    The difference – Bermejo made a plea bargain deal with the Office of the Ombudsman and was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser offense of prohibited acts financial and material interest in a government transaction under Section 7 (a) of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

    De la Victoria opted to try and prove his innocence but was convicted of violation of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

    The case against De la Victoria was filed in 2012, alleging that he gave unwarranted advantage to 877 Motors Corp. through the purchase of one 4WD Military Type Jeep worth P350,000 on February 4, 2003.

    Even if the accused was authorized by the Sangguniang Bayan to undertake the procurement, the court’s Second Division noted that he merely requested the supplier for a quotation although another dealer offered the same vehicle for a lower tag price.

    Bermejo’s case was filed in 2018 based on allegations that he extended undue favor to Philippine Pan Subic Ventures Inc., which was awarded the contract to supply the provincial government with three Mitsubishi Pajero wagons and one Isuzu Elf truck for the total cost of P1.95 million in 2007.

    Without waiting for the case to go on trial, the accused entered into a plea bargaining agreement with the Office of the Special Prosecutor in October 2019.

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