Sunday, April 14, 2024

Tabuk Mayor Back In Office After Dismissal Of Graft Case

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Tabuk Mayor Back In Office After Dismissal Of Graft Case

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Tabuk City Mayor Darwin Estrañero is thankful that the Office of the Ombudsman recognized the merit of his decision to purchase medical supplies despite the elevated prices at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ombudsman, in an 11-page ruling received on March 27, dismissed the graft charges against Estrañero and set aside its earlier decision recommending the filing of a case before the Sandiganbayan.

Estrañero reported back to work on Monday after a six-month suspension that started Sept. 29, 2023.

The mayor filed a motion of reconsideration following the Ombudsman’s earlier decision to exonerate from the graft charges the other members of the city’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

“For my peace of mind, I respected the earlier decision since I know that truth shall prevail,” Estrañero told the Philippine News Agency on Monday. “I also looked at my suspension in a positive way, as a perfect timing to have more time to reflect and take a little rest from the hectic schedules of being in the executive branch of the city government and think of more efficient ways of serving the people when I resume my mandate.”

Former vice mayor Bernard Glenn Dao-as and other complainants initiated the graft charges, claiming overpriced procurement of medical supplies at the onset of the pandemic.

Among the questioned supplies were thermal scanners bought by the Kalinga province capital for PHP12,000 each.

They said Estrañero and the other BAC members should be held administratively liable for knowingly entering into a contract that is grossly disadvantageous to the government.

The Ombudsman ruled that the purchase of medical supplies and devices were” not adequately established” in the cases filed against Estrañero.

“Although alleged to be abnormally higher than their usual prices, they were urgently needed for the protection and security of his constituents,” the Ombudsman ruled. (PNA)

Photo credit: Facebook/mayorDCE

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