Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, November 03, 2008

Ex-Zambales mayor, treasurer get 10 years

The Sandiganbayan First Division has convicted the former mayor of Castillejos, Zambales and his municipal treasurer for awarding a local infrastructure project to a private contractor without holding the required public bidding 11 years ago.

Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo penned the 20-page decision which meted ex-mayor Teofilo G. Pantaleon Jr. and ex-treasurer Jaime F. Vallejos six to 10 years imprisonment and lifetime disqualification from holding public office.

Associate Justice Rodolfo A. Ponferrada and Presiding Justice Diosdado M. Perlalta, division chairman, concurred.

The graft court junked the defendants’ claim that the project – construction of a children’s park - did not require a public bidding.

The defendants said the contractor, John B. Construction and Supply Company, was already awarded the initial phase of building the Castillejos municipal park, after being chosen as the sub-contractor by the winning bidder.

However, the anti-graft court said the requirement of public bidding is not an “idle ceremony”.

“The act of the accused in awarding to JBCSC the Castillejos contract is also in violation of the rules and regulation in the Government Accounting and Auditing Manual,” the Sandiganbayan said.

The court said contrary to the claim of the defense, the second project was separate and distinct from the initial one, which was the construction of a municipal park.

The initial project was handled by handled by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The two have previously been convicted of three counts of malversation also for anomalous handling of public works contracts for which they were sentenced a combined 120 years. ABS-CBN NEWS

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