- Posted September 17, 2012 by
For buying fuel from mom's gas station, NoCot guv charged of graft
By Ben O. Tesiorna
North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza is now facing multiple counts of graft charges before the Ombudsman for buying P2.4-Million worth of diesel fuel from her mother’s gas station without public bidding.
In an affidavit complaint submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman, Artemio Suico, a resident of Kidapawan City and a former provincial government employee, submitted copies of three disbursement vouchers signed by the Governor which showed the payment of P2,434,668.99 for 49,526.71 liters of fuel allegedly procured from two Shell Gas Stations owned by Noemi J. Talino, mother of the Governor.
Suico, in his complaint, also asked the Ombudsman to immediately place the Governor in preventive suspension and to task an investigating team to look into other financial irregularitites in the North Cotabato provincial government.
In substantiating his allegation that Gov. Talino-Mendoza violated the Constitutional provision on conflict of interest, Suico submitted a certification issued by the Office of the City Treasurer of Kidapawan City, where one of the gas stations is located, which attested that the Shell Station in Barangay Lanao, Kidapawan City has business license under Talino Shell Station and is owned by Noemi J. Talino, the governor’s mother.
Suico also claimed that the purchase was made without public bidding and that the use of the fuel allegedly for the repair and maintenance of three provincial roads was questionable as the volume of fuel was much more than what was needed to undertake the project.
Suico submitted photos of the road sections which showed that these were in good condition and could not have required almost 50,000 liters of fuel to repair.
The huge volume of fuel was reportedly used for:
- Maintenance of Ginatilan-Bangkal-Manobo Road in Magpet costing P1- million for 20,833.33 liters of diesel fuel;
- Rehabilitation of the Carmen-Maridagao Road costing P934,669 for 18,693.83 liters of diesel fuel;
- Rehabilitation of the Lamitan-Bulacananon Road, Makilala costing P499,999.99 for 10,000 liters of diesel fuel.
In his complaint, Suico attached the joint affidavit of two barangay officials in the town of Magpet in whose area a road was supposed to have been repaired using P1-M worth of diesel fuel.
The barangay officials, in their affidavits said they only saw five units of road repair equipment which worked in the area for only two days and these could not have consumed over 20,000 liters of diesel fuel.
Barangay Officials of Kisandal Magpet namely Punong Barangay Expedito Rafayla and Brgy. Councilor Roderick Sumadia personally witnessed that the rehabilitation of the Ginatilan-Bangkal-Manobo Road section in Magpet was done only for TWO DAYS and used only one Road Grader and Four Dump trucks
He submitted along with his complaint a table of fuel consumption per equipment prepared by the provincial engineering office which showed that each unit of road building equipment could consume only about 60 liters of diesel fuel on a day-long operation.
“Based on these scientifically-determined data, the biggest volume that can be consumed by a road grader for a low to medium road maintenance project like the Bangkal-Ginatilan Road Rehabilitation will only be more or less 36 Liters of diesel fuel per day. For a tractor, the average daily fuel consumption per day will be 60 liters of diesel fuel per day,” he alleged.
Suico claimed that based on the scientific estimates, the two-day Ginatilan-Bangkal Magpet Road Rehabilitation Project will only consume more or less 552 liters of fuel computed as follows:
One Road Grader x36 litersx2 days=72 liters
Four tractorsx60 litersx2 days=480 liters
“Hence, based on these data and the accepted formula designed by the Provincial Engineering Office of North Cotabato, it would have needed 35 days for six (6) equipment working eight (8) hours a day to consume 20,833.33 liters of diesel fuel supposedly used in rehabilitating said road section,” he said in his complaint.
“The great disparity between the estimated 552 liters of diesel actually consumed for the two-day road maintenance project in Magpet vis-à-vis the 20,833.33 liters actually paid for is proof that the fuel-purchase transaction made by the Respondent is illegal and that this transaction is obviously a scheme to pocket government funds. Respondent Governor and her cohorts made it appear that diesel fuel was procured and used in a government project but in truth, only a small part of the fuel was actually used and the rest was converted to cash for the benefit of those who were involved in the fraudulent transactions,” Suico alleged.
He said the acts of Governor Talino-Mendoza violated the following laws:
a. Section 3 (h) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act
b. Section 3 (e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act
c. GRAVE MISCONDUCT & DISHONESTY in violation of Section 2 of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct for Public Officials
Suico claimed that the brazen and blatant violations of the laws on procurement and the conduct of government officials started after the Governor imposed a climate of fear in the provincial government by assigning to remote places employees who were perceived to be loyal to her political opponents.
“As the atmosphere of fear among the provincial employees prevailed, reports of questionable business transactions started filtering out from the ranks of the employees themselves,” Suico alleged in his complaint.
“The questionable transactions included the involvement of the Governor and her family in the supply of food in catering services during special occasions in the province and the procurement of gasoline, diesel and other motor supplies from gas stations owned by the family” he said.
“The act of paying provincial funds to a business owned by the governor’s mother is, in itself, illegal and unacceptable,” he claimed in his affidavit. BOT