Sierra Bullones mayor Simplicio C. Maestrado, Jr. faces criminal and administrative casesat the Ombudsman (Visayas) as he allegedly entered into contracts for infrastructure projects totaling about PhP10,000,000.00 without authority from the Sangguniang Bayan of Sierra Bullones, Bohol.
The complaints stemmed from the Audit Report of the Commission on Audit (COA) dated May 7, 2018, which specifically found out that Simplicio C. Maestrado Jr., incumbent mayor of Sierra Bullones, committed serious irregularities constituting a violation of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and other related laws during his term of office.
Acting for and in behalf of the people of Sierra Bullones,Rey E. Yamaro, former sangguniangbayan member, now incumbent punong barangay of Dusita, Sierra Bullonesstated in the complaint filed and received by the Ombudsman (Visayas) on July 23, 2018,nowdocketed as Cases No.OMB-V-C-18-0444 (criminal) and OMB-V-A-18-0500 (administrative), that based on the said Audit Report, the Commission on Audit found out that Mayor Maestrado, among other serious anomalies and irregularities committed, entered into contracts for infrastructure projects without specific authority from the Sangguniang Bayanof Sierra Bullones, Bohol.
Part III – Status of Implementation of Prior Year’s Audit Recommendations as of December 31, 2017, page 54 of said Audit Report specifically finds, to wit: “No. 8. The Municipality entered into contracts for infrastructure projects totaling PhP10,000,000.00 without specific authority from the Sangguniang Bayan thereby making the disbursement illegal and subject to disallowance. (AOM No. 2017-06 (2016) dated January 25, 2017)”
In his sworn statement, Yamaro declared that “Probably in a desperate attempt to legalize the said illegal act of the Honorable Mayor, one of the members of the Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Sierra Bullones, Bohol attempted to pass a Resolution seeking to ratify certain contracts entered into by the Municipality of Sierra Bullones represented by Hon. Mayor SimplicioC. Maestrado, Jr. The said Resolutionwas howevernot approved by the members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Sierra Bullones, Bohol.”
Yamaro further states that through his lawyer, he sent a demand/request letter to Engr. Paterno A. Unajan, municipal engineer of Sierra Bullones for copies of the contracts mentioned in the said resolution. The municipal engineer’s inaction on such request made Yamaro conclude that either the municipal engineer is ordered by the mayor not to furnish him copies or that such contracts do not exist.
The Secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan of Sierra Bullones admitted to Yamaro that the contracts were not duly authorized by the Sangguniang Bayan. However, the secretary refused to issue a certification to that effect, Yamaro bared. Records of the Bids and Awards Committee proceedings for the bidding of said projects were also not shown.
The people believe that said projects did not undergo the legal process of bidding especially so that the Improvement of Waterworks System and Electrification; Fencing Construction at Motor Pool Area; and, Improvement of Municipal Building and Ground Development were all awarded to one contractor only, the JFF Builders and Supply.
The illegal and anomalous acts of Mayor Maestrado constitute Grave Misconduct and Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Official.