NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Former Gov. Art Yap is ready to answer the P57M graft complaint filed at the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas) last Tuesday in connection with the purchase of a multi-million senior citizens health kits acquired during his administration.
Yap, in his FB account, said the filing of the complaint was part of the campaign to discredit him as he denounced the Aumentado administration for creating the Office for Governance Accountability & Review (OGAR) chaired by former Duterte Cabinet Sec. Leoncio Evasco, Jr.
Yap said “wala ko makurat…sa pagsugod sa administrasyon ni Aumentado, ang labing una niyang gihimo mao ang pagmugna sa OGAR, usa ka grupo nga gitahasan sa pagpanggukod ug panglutos nato.”
He criticized the Aumentado administration for “dili pagpausbaw sa kunabuhi sa atong katawhan apan mas gipadak-an nila ang pagpanggukod ug pagpanglutos nato.”
Yap hit the Chronicle for the news article published last Sunday while he had not yet received a copy of the complaint.
It may be recalled that the former governor filed a “citing to sedition” case against the. Chronicle associate editor Peter Dejaresco, former City Mayor Dan Lim, and social media influencer Willy Ramasola which never reached first base at the Makati City Prosecutors Office. He filed the case when the paper started exposing his failures in governance as vented out by the people themselves through radio programs and social media.
The case was meant to silence the Chronicle and its critics, observers noted.
This latest plunder case filed against him and six others was in connection with the purchase of senior citizens’ medical kits worth P57,168,855.00
The case filed last Tuesday at the Ombudsman Visayas included as respondents lawyer Kathrin Fe Pioquinto, former provincial administrator; Giselle Quimpo, former chief of staff of the Governor’s Office; lawyer Julius Gregory Delgado, former provincial legal officer; Peter Ross Retutal, chief budget officer; engineer Camilo Gasatan, and Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Health Office (PHO).
Delgado was the former chair of the bids and awards committee (BAC) while Quimpo was vice chair with Retutal, Gasatan and Lopez as members.
The seventh respondent, Stella Marie Ancla, is the sole proprietor of Dextel Trading, a supplier of the provincial Capitol.
The complainants were former Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, retired Judge Suceso Arcamo, former prosecutor Macario Delusa, former City Mayor Dan Lim and businessman Emmanuel “Willy” Ramasola, all of OGAR in their personal capacities.
According to the facts of the case, Lopez, then PHO OIC, requested the purchase of a senior citizen’s health kit through a purchase request dated Jan. 25, 2022, with a total value of P57,168,855.
The said kit’s major component was the Multivitamins with Iron and Zinc making it a procurement of medicines.
Pioquinto, then the provincial administrator, approved the purchase request by Yap’s authority.
Although the procurement was cleverly labeled as a procurement of health kits, the complainants alleged that it was essentially a procurement of medicines.
Since most of the procurement was the value of the Multivitamins with Iron and Zinc, the procurement was covered by Rule No. 36 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9502.
After Lopez forwarded the purchase request to the BAC to procure through bidding, the BAC opened the bids on March 4, 2022.
There were two alleged bidders, RGS Marketing Corp. and Dextel Trading but RGS’ bid was declared non-complying. Dextel Trading’s bid in the amount of P56,816,444.25 was declared “Single Complying and Responsive Bid and Recommending Approval” in BAC Resolution No. 2022-078 Series of 2022.
The complainants said all BAC members, Delgado, Quimpo, Retutal, Gasatan and Lopez signed the resolution approved which was by Pioquinto by Yap’s authority.
The complaint alleged that a careful review of the documents submitted would show that Dextel was in fact non-responsive to the items. It pointed to item no. 1 to be procured which is one box of Multivitamin with Iron and Zinc Cap 1001 but Dextel’s response is Biomin.
“Biomin is NOT RESPONSIVE to Item 1 box Multivitamin with Iron and Zinc Cap 100s of the goods to be procured,” said the complaint.
The complainants said that the Food and Drug Authority’s Certificate of Product Registration for Biomin showed that it is “a food supplement with no approved therapeutic claim”.
“Biomin is NOT a Multivitamin with Iron and Zinc,” the complaint pointed out.
Under Rule No. 36 of the IRR of Republic Act 9502, all government agencies including local government units shall procure drugs and medicines within the Philippine National Drug Formulary (PNDF).
The complaint alleged that Biomin, the item submitted by Dextel, is not within the PNDF since it is not a drug but a food supplement with no approved therapeutic claim.
According to the complainants, the respondent BAC members declared Dextel Trading’s bid as a Single Complying and Responsive Bid even though it is not responsive to the items to be procured.
This was “a manifest partiality giving unwarranted benefits and preference to DEXTEL TRADING” and its proprietor Ancla “to the detriment and damage of the Provincial Government of Bohol”.
A day after the purchase order was received, Dextel delivered the Biomin food supplements which were received by Lopez, “inspected and accepted without any objection”.
As a result, complainants alleged that the provincial government suffered a loss of P57M equivalent to the amount paid to Dextel Trading.
YAP CLAIMS ACHIEVEMENTS
The former governor who was defeated by the biggest margin in a gubernatorial race, claimed his achievements during his one-term as governor after he was defeated by then Rep. Aris Aumentado by a margin of 185,833 votes. Yap pooled 283,903 votes against Aumentado’s 469,736 votes.
He said “sauna, atong gipakadak-an ang kinabuhi ug nangita ta ug pamaagi nga maprotektahan kini pinaagi sa paghatag ug fresh desalinated nga tubig sa mga kaislahan. Nagpatukod ta ug modern nga Dialysis Facility didto sa Talibon. Nakapangayo ta ug 100 million pesos para sa housing project para sa mga biktima sa bagyong Odette. Nibarog kita ug nagmaisugon batok sa illegal nga drogas ug gisiguro nato nga magpabiling ASF free ang Bohol. Mao kini ang mga pipila ka mga proyekto nga nakapahimo nato isip “The Most Competitive Province in Central Visayas” sulod sa duha ka tuig. Sa pagkakaron, kini nga mga proyekto wala na gipadayon.”