By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Executive assistant to Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Sammy Montoyo, accused former Mayor Monico Puentevella of conducting a “banana split” scam surrounding a P1 million radio equipment purchase made in 2016.
In a press conference yesterday morning, Sammy Montoyo, who also leads the Save Bacolod Movement, presented documentation from the Office of the Ombudsman regarding cases OMB-V-C-17-0350 and OMB-V-A-17-0362, which center on an administrative case of grave misconduct in violation of RA 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, which he filed against the former mayor.
Aside from Puentevella, former city officials were also named as respondents, including Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Jerome Solinap; BAC secretariat Victor Emmanuel Espina; BAC vice chairman, Dr. Maria dela Torre; BAC members Engr. Mae Cuaycong and Engr. Ephraem Hechanova; and Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) Coordinator Butch Ebreo.
Montoyo claimed purchase orders for communication equipment were allegedly split, with one order made on March 15, 2016 and the second on March 18, 2016. He noted, based on the two purchase requests, the equipment was of “virtually the same specifications.”
According to Section 54.1 of RA 9184, “Splitting of government contracts is not allowed.”
The executive assistant believes Puentevella himself is criminally and administratively liable for having approved the two transactions. He added, the other respondents are also liable for their involvement.
In response, the former mayor reached out to Watchmen Daily Journal and laughed off the situation, denying the allegations./WDJ