Sandigan finds NPO execs guilty in 2010 anomalies

Sandiganbayan found officials of the National Printing Office (NPO) guilty for awarding a PHP1.2 million contract without public bidding in 2010.

In a ruling, the Sandiganbayan Third Division convicted officials of the NPO of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019).

The charges filed in 2016 were in connection with the 2010 awarding of a contract for printing services of 1,000 boxes of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) travel clearance certificates for PHP1.2 million.

The contract was awarded to Advance Computer Forms Inc. without conducting a competitive bidding or public bidding nor justified by the condition provided for by law in resorting to alternative method of procurement in violation of the Procurement Act.

Prosecutors said the transaction “deprived the government of the opportunity to obtain the lowest calculated responsive bid or the most advantageous and beneficial contact, to the prejudice of the government”.

Found guilty were Emmanuel Andaya, Sylvia Banda, Josefina Samson, Antonio SIllona. Bernadette Lagumen, and Zita Maria Enriquez. Andaya was the director and head of the NPO while the others held positions in the agency and in the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

The officials claimed they decided to resort to emergency procurement because the request was urgent and the travel clearance forms being requested had peculiarities and intricacies in the security features requested.

They were sentenced to six to 10 years imprisonment after the court said their “disregard of the law (was) so blatant and palpable that the same amounts to a willful intent to subvert the clear policy of the law for transparency and accountability in government contracts”. (PNA)

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