Former BuCor chief fails to block evidence in graft case

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    FORMER Bureau of Corrections director Gaudencio Pangilinan has failed anew in his bid to block the presentation of government evidence in his ongoing trial for multiple counts of graft.

    In a resolution, the Sandiganbayan Third Division denied the defendant’s motion for reconsideration seeking recall of the February 24, 2020 ruling that overruled his objections against the admission into the records of two issuances of the Commission on Audit.

    Pangilinan has tried to block the presentation of COA’s Notice of Disallowance and Supplemental Notice of Disallowance dated April 24, 2019, both of which raised questions on the propriety of transactions undertaken under his administration.

    The charges filed in 2017 accused Pangilinan and his chief administrative officer Ligaya Dador of involvement in bidding irregularities for the construction project and service contracts of the Bucor amounting to P3.7 million in 2012.

    Graft investigators from the Office of the Ombudsman said the P1.4 million contract for a National Bilibid Prison building was awarded to Grand Potential Press Inc. and Dotgain Solutions which are engaged in the printing business rather than construction. While there was only one structure involved, the project was split into four separate contracts to make it appear that they were being made under “small value procurement” that require less stringent scrutiny.

    Also uncovered was the agency’s P2.3 million spending on food, giant tarpaulins and tents by resorting to “emergency purchase” which did not undergo the required public bidding.