DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan suspended 3 officials in Davao City, following their indictment in a case that involved a questionable procurement of disinfectants worth over P3 million in 2012.
In a statement on Monday, January 8, the Ombudsman said Melani Provido, Isabelita Buduan, and Marie Ann Constantino were placed under a 90-day suspension for violating section 3E and 3G of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).
“(They) now stand in trial for the said violation and according to the motion filed by the Ombudsman prosecutors,” the statement said.
The three, according to the Ombudsman, are government employees at the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Unit XI.
The Ombudsman explained that the suspension was meant to prevent them from “hampering the prosecution by intimidating or influencing witnesses, tampering with documentary evidence, or committing further acts of malfeasance while in office.”
Earlier in June 2017, the Ombudsman charged the three, and 9 other DA Regional Field Unit XI officials over a 2012 deal.
At the time, the three were part of a technical working group that led the purchase of 38 drums of disinfectants from FKA Agri-Chemical worth P3,040,000.00. This, despite an existence of another bidder who offered the same items worth P2,647,308.00.
The Ombudsman described the deal as “disavantageous” but explained the suspension was not a penalty. (Iñaki Albano / davaotoday.com)