Ex-Negros Occidental mayor faces graft raps over awarding of projects

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Former Sipalay, Negros Occidental mayor Soledad Montilla has been charged with graft over her alleged involvement in the alleged irregular awarding of projects in 2008.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed the case before the Sandiganbayan after finding probable cause to indict her.

Apart from Montilla, the Ombudsman also included in the case Treasurer Renato Pido Manilla, Budget Officer Fernando Rivera Balbin, Engineer Porferio Calderon Jr., General Services Officer Elizer Rivera Balbin, and Executive Assistant Alfredo Gulmatico Lim.

The case stemmed from the projects for the rehabilitation and graveling of dike and various farm-to-market roads which were awarded to D.K. Jocson Construction.

The Ombudsman pointed out the projects was awarded to the contractor even though there was public bidding and no prior authority from the city council.

Also, the Ombudsman said the contractor failed to post or file its performance bond.