Governor Graft and Corruption Case Dismissed

The Ombudsman has dismissed criminal and administrative cases for graft and corruption against Bohol Governor Erico Aumentado and three others filed by a lawyer in 2003 for alleged purchase of goats at too high a price.

In a nine-page-resolution, Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer I Cynthia Maturan-Sibi of the Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas dismissed the criminal aspect of the case on June 30, 2006 for lack of merit.

In a 10-page decision, she also dismissed the administrative aspect of the case on the same date, similarly for lack of merit.

Both were reviewed by Director Edgardo Canton, recommended for approval by OIC Ombudsman-Visayas Virginia Palanca-Santiago and approved by Acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro on June 26, 2008.

Aside from Aumentado, named as respondents were then Officer-in-Charge Arnulfo Apalisok of the Bohol Poverty Reduction Management Office (BPRMO), lawyer Antonio Amora, then provincial administrator and Engr. Edwin Vallejos, provincial general services officer.

The case stemmed from the provincial government's purchase of 480 heads of does worth P720,000 or P1,500 each and P120 heads of bucks for P540,000 or P4,500 each. BPRMO had bought the hybrid goats to provide alternate livelihood project as support to beneficiaries in 40 barangays to augment their income.           

Lawyer Artemio Cabatos, human rights advocate and chair of the Boholanos Against Corruption, Oppression and Social Harassment (Bacos) filed the case. He presented documents showing that Nutrimart Enterprise submitted a quotation, tendered a bid and eventually won as evidenced by Purchase Order No. 169 signed by Vallejos and Amora as Aumentado's representative.

Apalisok signed the inspection and acceptance report, noted by Vallejos. Again Apalisok and Amora representing the governor signed the disbursement voucher while Nutrimart Enterprises issued an invoice reflecting the amount of P1.26 million.