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Villasin to be charged over fertilizer fund scam

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Former Barugo, Leyte Mayor Juiliana Villasin face graft charges for her involvement in the fertilizer fund scam in 2004.

In a statement posted in its website, the Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of a case of violating Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) against against Villasin, muncipal accountant Aluino Ala, and municipal agriculturist Reynaldo Bodo.

The Ombudsman accused the three for the alleged unlawful procurement of fertilizers in 2004 that amounted to P1.87 million.

Records showed that the accused authorized the purchase of 3,900 liters of Fil-Ocean liquid fertilizers from Bals Enterprises through direct contracting.

However, the Ombudsman stated in its resolution that that Villasin and her co-accused “gave Bals Enterprises unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference when they dispensed with the public bidding, pursued direct contracting as a mode of procurement of fertilizer for the Municipality, engaged the latter as supplier, and made payment for fertilizers, thereby causing undue injury to the government.”

The Commission on Audit (COA) found irregularities in the transaction such as lack of public bidding, absence of referral to its Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), reference to specific brand names and lack of verification as to the qualification and eligibility of the supplier.

COA also discovered that “there was a prior agreement between respondents and Bals Enterprises even before the invitation to bid was published” and it only took the supplier 48 hours to deliver the fertilizers in Leyte despite even though it is located in Quezon City.

Apart from this, the COA said that “the fertilizer was only suitable for vegetables and power plants” and was considered “useless to achieve one of the project’s objectives, which was improved rice farming system and production enhancing-techniques.”

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