BONTOC, Mt. Province

Eleven former ranking officials of Mountain Province, including the late Governor Maximo Dalog Sr., and a private supplier-turned councilor in a Benguet town, were sentenced by the anti-graft
court Sandiganbayan in relation to an overpriced government vehicle deal in 2006.

Former provincial accountant Theodore Marrero, provincial health officer Nenita Lizardo, provincial nurse Helen Macli-ing, bids and awards committee (BAC) chairperson Paulo Pagteilan, BAC vice chairperson Lily Rose Kollin, BAC members Florence Gut- omen, Edward Likigan, and Soledad Theresa Wanawan, budget officer II Jerome Falingao, executive assistant and BAC secretariat Abdon Imingan, Technical and Inspection Group member Abelard Pachingel, and private defendant Ronaldo Kimakim, were sentenced by the Sandiganbayan Third Division to a prison term of six to eight years.

They were also perpetually disqualified from any government position in the future and their benefits forfeited. Associate Justice Ronald Moreno, in the 62-page ruling concurred by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje Tang and Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez, found the former Mt. Province officials and now Councilor Kimakim to have “caused undue injury to the local government” Former governor Dalog Sr., also named in the overpriced vehicle deal, though died in
June 2017, due to kidney failure.

The provincial officials were accused in 2017 of acting in conspiracy with Kimakim who owned Ronhil Trading Inc. in a simulated purchase of a Mitsubishi L-300 Versa van for P843,700.91. It was traced that the vehicle were bought by Kimakim from Motorplaza, Inc. on March 29, 2006 for P756,000, then sold to the provincial government on the same day for P843,700.91 for a price difference of P87,700.91. Kimakim claimed he received a P10,000 fee for his services and said the payout happened at Macli-ing’s house.

The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan said, “the 11 former officials and Kimakim participated in the criminal offense by specifying a vehicle brand and model, which gave unwarranted advantage to the
supplier, in violation of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.” “From the time the
purchase request was made by accused Lizardo and Marrero up until the time the subject vehicle
was accepted by the provincial government of Mountain Province, the reference to the specific brand and model of Mitsubishi L-300 Versa van was written in all of the procurement documents,” the anti-graft court also cited.

Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon