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Batangas vice mayor faces another graft case

BATANGAS, SAN Pascual Vice Mayor Antonio Dimayuga is again facing charges of graft and misconduct before the Office of the Ombudsman,  less than two weeks after being charged for delaying the passage of the municipal budget due to alleged political reasons  as a member of the Sangguniang Bayan,  this time for  favoring a water utility company without having to go through any public bidding.

In an 11-page complaint, Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Board Member Rolando Tamayo also identified 7 others, which include SB Board Members both past and present, Maria Brenda Dimayuga, the wife of the accused, Davis Gregory Fider, Mara Cassandra Fernandez, Efren Reyes, Norman Dimatactac, Moises Chavez, and Reyshanne Joy Marquez.

Tamayo said the complaint was with regards to the decision of then Mayor Dimayuga to allow the construction and operation of Water Supply Distribution System Aquadata Inc., in the municipality, despite not having to go through the usual standards such as a public bidding.

He said Dimayuga and the seven others violated Section 3 of the Republic Act 3019 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, when the SB endorsed the project and Dimayuga allowed it.

Tamayo also asked the Ombudsman to issue a preventive suspension against Dimayuga and the other accused in the case so as not to affect the hearing.

“The San Pascual Water Supply and Distribution System, was an LGU infrastructure project that should have undergone competitive public bidding or any of the recognized modes of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) such as Build-Operate-Transfer (BoT), Build-Lease-Transfer (BLT), Build-Own-Operate (BOO), Concession Agreement, Joint Venture and others,” Tamayo said in his complaint.

Tamayo narrated that last July 14, 2014, Aquadata submitted a letter signed by their president Herbert Tan to Fider and members of the SB.

It stated their fervent desire to construct a deep well pumping station along Bgy. Sto. Nino and Bgy. Laurel in San Pascual.

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This was endorsed to Dimayuga by the SB members of the Office of the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator, for a franchise for Aquadata to allow them to construct a Water Supply System last July 25, 2014.

Tamayo admitted that even he, also a board member, did not object at that time and even signed a support document for the franchise, since all the while he thought and was given the idea that it would go through the normal process such as a public bidding.

But  on August 12, 2014, the SB passed a series of ordinances to pave the way for the franchise of the company. And on October 27, 2014, Aquadata again sought permission, and because of the ordinances they were given the go signal.

Dimayuga, in his capacity as then municipal mayor, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Aquadata which was  quickly ratified by the SB on the same day, Tamayo said.

Last December 14, 2014, Aquadata was given a Mayors permit to start their work.

“After a few months, I learned that the “franchise” given to Aquadata did not undergo competitive public bidding despite the assurance of respondents,” Tamayo said.

“Respondents intentionally failed to do this and instead, unilaterally granted Aquadata a blanket authority and privilege to construct and operate San Pascual’s Water Supply and Distribution System on mere SB Resolutions and the MOA they issued,” Tamayo added.

Tamayo also asked the Ombudsman to dismiss the respondents and to be slapped with criminal charges.