PRESIDENT Duterte ordered graft charges filed against a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) district engineer and four others for receiving a P4-million bribe for a P7-million project.
Accused of graft were Engineer Roberto “Bobby” Nicolas, Tess Orquia, Engr. Melody Dominguez, Engr. Luisito Ponancio and Vilma Gomez.
Besides the graft charges, Nicolas, Orquia, Dominguez, Ponancio and Gomez also face a case for unethical conduct as they are government employees and bribery for accepting the P4 million from a contractor of the DPWH project.
This was confirmed by DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.
According to Villar, the five will also be charged administratively and removed from the DPWH.
As an immediate measure, Villar has suspended Nicolas and three others except for Gomez who is already retired.
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica said the P4-million grease money was “downpayment” for P20-million “standard operating procedure” (SOP) bribe to get the P70-million DPWH steel parking project.
Gelgica explained that the P20 million was the SOP amount agreed between the DPWH-Pasig district engineer and contractor.
Belgica said there are “video footages” showing Orquia and Gomez accepting the P4 million from the representative of the contractor.
Belgica affirmed that the video footages are authentic and verified.
The representative of the contractor was actually an “asset” of PACC.
Belgica stressed that Engr. Nicolas was involved in the illegal transaction even though he was not present because the crime happened right in his office.
Besides, Gomez was a former member of the staff of Nicolas but had already retired.
According to previous media reports Gomez was allegedly the “bagman” or “collector” of ni Nicolas.
Belgica revealed PACC had been receiving complaints alleging Engr. Nicolas was corrupt but no hard evidence could be presented against him.
Belgica did not say anything about Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo being involved in the corruption concerning the DPWH project.
It may be recalled that nine members of Congress were reported by PACC to be involved in corruption in the DPWH which Duterte made public even though the PACC had no evidence against them.