Former Muntinlupa Mayor Aldrin San Pedro and 11 others have been arraigned at the Sandiganbayan for graft charges over the anomalous purchase of trolley bags in 2008 amounting to P22 million.
Based on information filed by former Muntinlupa Bidding and Awards Committee Secretariat officer Abel Sumabat, who has now spent four years under the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice, the procured 40,000 trolley bags from a private company was done without holding a public bidding.
The Ombudsman said the trolley bags, which were supposed to be distributed to elementary schools in the city, were also not included in Muntinlupa’s Annual Investment Plan.
San Pedro had filed a motion for reconsideration at the Sandiganbayan, but was denied last April 21.
Second Division Senior Member Associate Justice Napoleon Inoturan issued the resolution concurred by Division Chairman Associate Justice Teresita-Diaz- Baldos and Junior Member Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi.
“After a careful evaluation of the accused separate motions, we find the contentions therein are not sufficient to set the findings of probable cause, and we rule that there exists probable cause to justify the issuance of warrant of arrests with respect to all accused,” the Sandiganbayan resolution said.
The Ombudsman is also looking into more than 100 graft complaints by Sumabat against San Pedro, which was filed last Feb. 17, 2012. The OMB Lifestyle Check Panel has already started an investigation into the alleged-ill gotten wealth of San Pedro and his family, docketed as OMB-C-12-0504.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue has also conducted an audit and assessment of alleged dummy companies used by San Pedro and his relatives to amass millions of pesos from the coffers of the Muntinlupa City Government as the former mayor faces charges for violations of the 1997 National Internal Revenue Code, said Sumabat.