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Cebu mayor faces graft rap for hiring Bamboo

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The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to file a graft case against Dumanjug Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica of Cebu province for hiring musician Bamboo Mañalac to perform during the town fiesta in 2015 without going through the bidding process.

The anti-graft office has indicted Gica for violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Rheia Tibon, graft investigation and prosecution officer, recommended the filing of the case in court. The recommendation was approved by Ombudsman Samuel Martires on June 13, 2019.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by former mayor Nelson Garcia on September 2, 2016. Garcia was the town mayor of Dumanjug from June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2016 but got suspended prompting then vice mayor Gica to assume the office as acting mayor effective March 2015.

Gica allegedly influenced the municipal Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to perform an act constituting a violation of the rules and regulations. (https://www.philstar.com/the-freeman/cebu-news/2019/09/20/1953351/gica-faces-graft-hiring-bamboo#MOsO9TZ8CDV4fVMe.99)

The anti-graft investigation showed that Gica directed the BAC through memorandum 0916-01 to resort to direct contracting.

The BAC also complied with the said directive and issued a letter dated September 18, 2015 stating therein that the committee yields to the mayor’s memorandum.

Gica also allegedly directed the Local Finance Committee to release the payment of P953,200 prior to the performance date of the artists on October 1, 2015. The advance payment was prohibited under Presidential Decree 1445 or the State Auditing Code of the Philippines.