Ombudsman clears way for graft case vs Cebu ex-gov
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by former Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia, paving the way for the filing of graft charges against Garcia and 11 others over the allegedly anomalous construction of the Cebu International Convention Center.
Charged with Garcia are bids and awards committee members Eduardo Habin, Roy Salubre, Cristina Gianco, Adolfo Quiroga, Necias Vicoy Jr., Emme Gingoyon, Glenn Baricuatro, Bernard Calderon, Marino Martinquilla and Eulogio Pelayre, and W.T. Construction Inc. vice president Willy Te.
In her order, Morales said the alternative methods in the awarding of the P830 million worth of contracts for the engineering, architectural and civil works on the CICC in 2006 were unjustifiable and violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
She also said Garcia gave WTI “unwarranted benefits and caused undue injury to the government” to the tune of at least P257,413,911.73 by allowing the contractor to perform additional work without any appropriation, contract or public bidding.
Morales also dismissed Garcia’s claim the charges are “politically motivated,” saying: “This Office, as a dispenser of justice, ensures that justice is meted out objectively, without fear or favor, and that the cases are decided based on the evidence, not on motives, personalities or political affiliation.”