FIVE municipal councilors of Ubay in Bohol yesterday filed a string of graft charges against Mayor Galicano Atup for his involvement in alleged questionable transactions.
Atup was sued before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas for violating Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Councilors Constancio Atuel, Eustaquio Bacolod, Isidore Besas, Victor Bonghanoy, and Violeta Reyes requested the anti-graft office to issue a preventive suspension order against Galicano to “preserve vital documents” which are under the control of the respondent.
As part of due process, the Ombudsman will give Galicano the opportunity to answer the accusations leveled against him.
If there is sufficient evidence against the respondent, charges will be elevated to the court. Otherwise, the complaints against Galicano will be dismissed.
In their complaint-affidavit, the five councilors said Galicano made an advance payment for the procurement of office tables and chairs for the Sangguniang Bayan office in Ubay, Bohol.
They said the mayor paid P44,447 on July 21, 2006. However, the actual delivery of the items were made on Oct. 8, 2006.
The complainants cited a provision of the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines which states that the “government shall not be obliged to make an advance payment for services not yet rendered or for supplies not yet delivered…”
They also accused the mayor of giving preference to a private firm.
The complainants said Galicano issued a Notice of Award to the “lowest calculated bidder” three days before the opening of the bids—a violation of the law.
They also said mayor falsified public documents when it acquired a KVA transformer. Galicano purportedly made it appear that the municipality “received” the transformer on April 11, 2008.
But the equipment was delivered to a public school only on Nov. 7, 2008.