By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Office of the Ombudsman recently ordered the indictment of former Tanjay City Mayor Lawrence Teves, along with City Councilors Jose Orlino and Steve Teves, on graft charges, stemming from “procurement anomalies” associated with certain barangay projects.
Based on a report by the Commission on Audit (COA), materials for infrastructure projects in Barangays Obogon and Sto. Niño were received in July 2011, however, no installations were made until 2014. Additionally, it was also reported some materials, while received, were left piled up near the home of the Sto. Niño barangay captain.
The former mayor claimed “good faith” in his defense, but the Ombudsman dismissed the argument, saying, “Shown in the program of works is the fact that the implementation shall be ‘by administration,’ that is, by the executive branch.”
The Ombudsman added the respondents were involved in the procurement of materials, but by not complying with the required dimensions of specified resources, that led to a shortage in volume and a delay in the project’s completion.
The former mayor was ruled in violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which states it is unlawful to cause undue injury through “bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.”
The city councilors, meanwhile, were the initiators of the request for materials and also signed the delivery receipts for the said provisions./WDJ