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OMBUDSMAN DROPS GRAFT CASE VS. CRUZ, OTHERS

Former Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz
By Frank E. Dosdos, Jr.
ILIGAN CITY

In its Resolution dated November 12, 2014 and finally approved by the Ombudsman on February 10, 2015, the Office of the Ombudsman DISMISSED for lack of merit the complaint the complaint by a businessman and two others against the former Mayor and Councilors, some of whom are still incumbents and some career officials of Iligan for Violation of Section 3 (e) and (g) Republic Act 3019; Violation of Republic Act 9184; and for Grave Misconduct or Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service.


According to the said Resolution the case pertains to the complaint filed on December 14, 2009 and May 26, 2010 by Jose Maria L. Boza, Alejandro A. Yañez and Dante T. Lopez against the City Mayor Lawrence Ll. Cruz, SP Members Providencio Pintoy Abragan, Sr., Orlando Migriño Maglinao, Moises De Guia Dalisay, Jr., Ariel Pareño Anghay, Jose Lacio Zalsos, Bayani C. Areola, SK Chairman & Ex-Officio SP Member Erica Mae Macapayag Cruz, City Planning and Development Coordinator and Chairman BAC Gil Rapada Balondo, Chief of Staff, Office of the City Mayor & Assistant BAC Chairman Ranulfo Domen Cenas, City Budget Officer & BAC Member Marina Padillo Jumalon, City Legal Officer & BAC Member Angel Cajes Mencias, Acting City Health Officer & BAC Member Cherlina Simpron Cañaveral, and Acting City Administrator & Member BAC Pacificador Maneja Lluch, Jr. concerning the Contract entered into by the City Government with the Joint Venture regarding the Civil Works Component of the Iligan City Water Supply Development Project.

Complainants contend that the contract in the amount of P195, 057, 943. 32 was grossly disadvantageous and injurious to the City government of Iligan because it was P15, 088,049.04 more than the original bid price of the Joint Venture in the amount of P179, 969, 894.28.

In the dispositive portion of its Resolution, the Ombudsman stated: x x “ the recommendation by the BAC, duly approved by Mayor Cruz, to award the contract for the Civil Works in favor of the Joint Venture in the amount that exceeded the EPC (Estimated Price of the Contract, eds note); the approval of the SP of the said recommendation and authorization granted by the SP to Mayor Cruz to enter into a contract with the Joint Venture; and the subsequent execution by Mayor Cruz of the contract with the Joint Venture; all with the knowledge and consent of LBP and IBRD (WB) are not in violation of R.A. 9184 and Sec 3 (e) & (g) of R.A. 3019 and could not be constituted as acts constituting Grave Misconduct or Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service. 


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