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Ombudsman okays graft raps vs. ex-Eastern Samar solon, 11 others

MANILA-- The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has approved the filing of graft charges against former Eastern Samar Rep. Marcelino Libanan over the alleged fertilizer fund scam.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said that graft investigators have found probable cause to indict Libanan and 11 other former provincial officials and private individuals in connection with the procurement of 4,328 bags of fertilizer worth PHP6.1 million.

Likewise, former Eastern Samar Gov. Clotilde Salazar, agriculturist Jesus Agda, accountant Vener Dulfo, Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairperson Vilma Bormate, vice chairperson Necitas Ponferrada and BAC members Samson Nervez and Manuel Japson will be included in the charge sheet.

The Ombudsman said that AKAME Marketing International owner and general manager Edilberto Apostol as well as employees Cecilia Apostol, Mary Jane Fabian and Kevin Ed Apostol would also be indicted.

Probe showed that the Eastern Samar provincial government purchased NBEM-21 Microbial Inoculant Soil Activator in March and April 2004 through direct contracting instead of public bidding.

"Respondents' manifest partiality is more evident when they procured fertilizers from a non-licensed company," the Ombudsman said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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