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Thursday, June 13, 2024

De Vera denies graft, grave abuse allegations of suspended CHED commissioner

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Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairperson Prospero de Vera III refuted accusations of graft and corruption, grave abuse of authority, harassment and oppression lodged against him by suspended CHED commissioner Aldrin Darilag.


De Vera allegedly favored a particular supplier in procurement processes and instructed Darilag to influence the awarding of government contracts. The CHED chief strongly denied this, saying he was never involved in such proceedings.

“I would like to categorically state that I am not part of any Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) in CHED or in any state university and college and I am not in a position to manipulate procurement activities,” De Vera said in a statement released late Wednesday evening.

De Vera also noted that the proper venue to address and resolve complaints with respect to bidding procedures is before the en banc session of the CHED commission or the Board of Regents of individual state universities and colleges (SUCs) in question.

“He (Darilag) also accuses me of preventing his staff from doing any work and subjecting them to needless inspection of their clothes or belongings. I do not know the specifics of the complaint so it is difficult for me to respond in detail to his allegations,” the CHED chief added.

Darilag filed a five-page complaint against De Vera before the Office of the Ombudsman this week in connection with the 90-day suspension order served against him by the commission last January. To his defense, De Vera said he was simply following an order from the Office of the President (OP).

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin signed the suspension order, which came with an instruction to CHED to form a fact-finding committee, De Vera explained. Darilag was accused of grave misconduct, neglect in the performance of duty, and abuse of authority or oppression.  

“The Fact-Finding Committee is currently looking into the allegations raised against Darilag. The Committee will report their findings to CHED, who will thereafter submit such reports to the Executive Secretary,” De Vera added.

CHED stated previously that the preventive suspension was imposed on Darilag to stop him from using his position to unduly influence the investigation. De Vera also denied issuing a memorandum to block the members of Darilag’s staff from entering the CHED facility.  

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