Ex-Mayor of Misamis Oriental Town and 4 Others Indicted Over Fertilizer Scam

Misamis Oriental town ex-mayor has been sentenced to 16-years imprisonment along with four others over fertilizer scam.

The former mayor of Libertad, Misamis Oriental Alberto Bacaylan Acain and four others have been sentenced to six to eight years’ prison terms in each of the two counts of graft charges filed against them in the irregular purchase of P4.9 million worth of fertilizers in 2004.

Misamis Oriental Ex-Mayor

Based on the report of Manila Bulletin, in a 63-page decision promulgated on Jan. 29, the Sandiganbayan found Acain and four other former municipal officials guilty for violation of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Engineer Oscar Benlot, civil registrar Isidro Gervacio, budget officer Elizabeth Pagalan and assessor Sergio Jacalan Jr., are the four former municipal officials who got involved in the fertilizer fund scam.

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The cases against former municipal treasurer Lucia Almene and fertilizer suppliers Ricardo Mendoza Jr. and Ma. Lourdes Mendoza were archived pending their arrest as they not turned over themselves to the court.

The cases stemmed from the municipal government’s procurement of 3,666 liters of fertilizer amounting to P4.99 million. The ombudsman said there was no public action for the project, which violated RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

State prosecutors say former municipal officials are engaged in direct contracting. Benlot was chairman of the bid and awards committee (BAC) while Almene, Gervacio, Jacalan and Pagalan were members of the BAC at the time of hiring.

The anti-graft court said the offense began when Acain ordered the BAC to proceed with obtaining a specific fertilizer brand. It said Acain and BAC officials conspired to show that the Mendozas were exclusively distributing the brand.

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