Sandiganbayan: Guilty; ex-Quirino gov gets 16 years for fertilizer scam

>> Friday, June 24, 2022

MANILA – A former governor of Quirino province has been sentenced to 12 to 16 years in prison in connection with the anomalous procurement of fertilizer worth P4.99 million in 2004.
    In a 20-page decision promulgated on June 3, the Sandiganbayan found former governor Pedro Bacani guilty of two counts of violation of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
    Bacani was sentenced to six to eight years in prison for each count and disqualified from holding public office.
    The anti-graft court ordered the charges against Bacani’s co-respondents Edilberto Apostol and Kevin Apostol, manager and representative of private supplier Akame Marketing International, respectively, to be temporarily archived as they have yet to be located.
    Filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017, the charges against Bacani stemmed from the procurement by the provincial government of P4.99 million worth of fertilizer in 2004.
    The procurement was part of the implementation of the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s farm inputs and implements program.
    The ombudsman said no public bidding was conducted for the procurement, which violated RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
    The Sandiganbayan said the ombudsman presented sufficient testimonial and documentary evidence showing no public bidding was conducted before the supply contract was awarded to private firm Akame.
    The court dismissed Bacani’s defense that it was the DA that recommended the award of the contract to the company.
    “Bacani did not present any proof showing it was the DA that recommended to award the contract to Akame,” the court said.
    Aside from the lack of public bidding, the prosecution was able to prove that the fertilizer procured from Akame was overpriced by 100 percent, the Sandiganbayan said.


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