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Ex-Bohol mayor Alcala appeals graft conviction over P1.4M vehicle purchase

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Former Panglao, Bohol mayor Benedicto Alcala has asked the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division to reverse its decision which found him guilty of graft over the anomalous purchase of a vehicle in 2005 worth P1.46 million.

In his motion for reconsideration, Alcala blamed the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) and the the Office of the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC) for the 2005 purchase of the Kua Sorento.

“Accused Alcala, as the head of office, is entitled to rely on the wisdom of the BAC and of the MPDC in making such recommendation,” read his motion for reconsideration.

“The decision to resort to direct contracting in the purchase of Kia Sorento did not come from his own idea or volition but a product of a collective decision by the BAC,” he added.

In its decision, the ant-graft court sentenced him to suffer imprisonment ranging from six years and one month up to eight years.

Alcala was also meted wiith perpetual disqualification from public office.

Also convicted with him are bids and awards committee (BAC) member Catalino Sumaylo.

The case stemmed from the purchase of a Kia Sorento from Gateway Motors Inc. In Cebu.

“Being the Municipal Mayor and Head of the Procuring Entity, it is his obligation to know the law pertinent to government procurement and ensure that the municipality’s purchases comply with existing rules,” ruled the court.

The court pointed out the car was purchased using funds from the Development Fund of the Internal Revenue Allotment (DF-IRA) even though the procurement of the vehicle was not covered.

Also, the court said purchase violated the procurement laws which required undergoing public bidding.