San Miguel village chair guilty of contract splitting
San Miguel, Catanduanes  ·  
posted 24-Sep-2019  ·  
936 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

A barangay chairman in San Miguel town has been sentenced to as much as 16 years in prison last week after being found culpable for splitting a contract for the purchase of construction materials in 2014.

The Regional Trial Court found Dayawa barangay chairman Jose Tianela guilty of violation of Section 65(a) of Republic Act 9184 and was ordered to suffer imprisonment ranging from six years and one day as minimum to eight years and one day as maximum.

Tianela was also found guilty of Section 3 of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and ordered to stay in jail from six years and one month to eight years and one month, and to suffer perpetual disqualification to hold public office.

The Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman, Kag. Noel Tarala, and fellow barangay councilors Ely Tayamora, Engr. Daniel Manlangit, Salvacion Robles and Christopher Tuazon had accused their barangay captain of splitting the P60,720.80 contract for the purchase of materials for the completion of the barangay multi-purpose hall.

They alleged that Tianela caused the implementation of the project without the approval of the Sangguniang Barangay and without passing through competitive bidding.

At the time, the allowable threshold for small value procurement in barangays was P50,000. To avoid goinr through public bidding, Tianela allegedly split the project into two program of works: P44,050.80 for masonry works and P48,000 for steel works.

He canvassed the prices at three hardware stores, with Virac Junction Hardware winning with the lowest quotation.

In court, he admitted that he implemented the project by administration in order to prevent financial losses on the part of the government, as private contractors would not complete the project for lack of profit.

RTC Branch 42 Presiding Judge Genie G. Gapas-Agbada stated that Tianela, as a public officer, avoided competitive bidding and gave unwarranted benefit or preference to Virac Junction Hardware as there was no proof that a list of three suppliers of known qualifications were invited to submit their quotations.

The Court also said that there was no proof that the mode of procurement was changed from public bidding to “by administration,” with the BAC chairman confirming that the canvass of materials did not pass through them for verification or review.

Tianela, who was reelected in the May 14, 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, was once an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Bayan after winning the presidency of Liga ng mga Barangay.

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