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Monday, June 17, 2024

CHED chief refutes graft raps filed by subordinate

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The chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has denied accusations of graft and corruption and other alleged misdeeds aired against him by a suspended official of the agency.

CHED chairman Prospero de Vera III was reacting to graft and corruption charges, as well as alleged grave abuse of authority, harassment, and oppression hurled against him by suspended CHED Commissioner Aldrin Darilag.

Darilag accused De Vera if favoring a particular bidder in the aency’s bidding process, claiming that De Vera even instructed him to rig the bidding.

However, the CHED chief strongly refuted the accusations, saying he was never involved in the biddings.

“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.

He 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 nee less 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,” De Vera said.

Darilag filed has graft complaints against De Vera before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with his 90-day suspension served last January.

De Vera pointed out ho ever, that he was simply following an order from the Office of the President.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin signed the suspension order, which came with an instruction to CHED to form a fact-finding committee,.

De Vera said Darilag was accused of grave misconduct, neglect 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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