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Lamp post controversy: Sandiganbayan convicts ex-Lapu mayor, 12 others

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | December 13,2022 - 05:23 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Sandiganbayan has convicted former Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Arturo Radaza and 12 other ex-government officials for graft and corruption over the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit lamp post scandal that first surfaced a decade ago. 

The state’s anti-graft court found Radaza, former Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) director Robert Lala, Isabelo Braza of Fabmik Construction and Equipment Supply Company Inc., and 10 others guilty for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).

In turn, the Sandiganbayan Seventh Division sentenced them with imprisonment of six and one month to 10 years. Public officials named in the case were also barred from holding public office perpetually. 

Others found guilty in the case were Marlina Alvizo, Pureza Fernandez, Agustinito Hermoso, Luis Galang, Cresencio Bagolor, Julito Cuizon, Rogelio Veloso, Ayaon Manggis, Marilyn Ojeda and Teresa Bernido. 

Lala, Fernandez, and Hermoso had been dismissed from service since 2011. Since then, they had kept themselves out of the public eye. 

Associate Justice Georgina Hidalgo of the Sandiganbayan’s 7th Division promulgated the decision on December 2, 2022. 

In their 174-page ruling, the court stated that they found the accused guilty of the accusations hurled against them when the evidence they presented only turned out to support the prosecution’s claims. 

“The very evidence herein accused presented to prove compliance with the procurement law did not work in their favor; instead, their evidence only served to further bolster the prosecution’s arguments,” portions of the ruling read.

The Sandiganbayan’s decision stemmed from the cases the Ombudsman lodged in 2008. 

The state’s anti-graft investigating body found out that the P83.9 million contract the then administration of the Lapu-Lapu City Government awarded to Fabmik to put up 199 lamp posts in the Mandaue-Mactan bridge for the 12th ASEAN Summit in 2007 had been inflated.

They said it had been overpriced by P13 million to P18 million. 

The Sandiganbayan added that the prosecution had successfully proved that all parties involved in the onerous bidding connived, and that they did not follow the procurement process the law prescribed. 

In 2020, the state’s anti-graft also convicted 11 former DPWH-7 officials, including Lala, Fernandez, and Hermoso for the installation of 300 overpriced street lamps in Mandaue City, also for the ASEAN Summit in 2007. 

The case had been elevated to the Supreme Court. 



Sandiganbayan orders jail time for individuals convicted over ASEAN Summit lamp posts

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