By Michael Punongbayan (Philstar)
The ombudsman earlier filed two graft charges before the Sandiganbayan against incumbent Sorsogon Gov. Raul Lee, accountant Raul Hernandez and provincial treasurer Ofelia Velasco.
The ombudsman said that the accused caused undue injury to the government by approving the purchase of 2,133 liters of Bio Nature Liquid Fertilizer from Feshan Philippines Inc. in 2004.
The provincial government purchased the fertilizer at P1,500 per liter against prevailing market price of only P180/liter.
Graft investigators said the purchase was accomplished through two separate transactions involving payment for 133 liters of liquid fertilizer on May 6, 2004 for P189,525 and another 2,000 liters for P3 million on June 28, 2004.
The ombudsman noted that Lee favored Feshan as the sole distributor of the fertilizers when in fact the “mode of procurement through exclusive distributorship is not appropriate.”
The ombudsman said that the deficient documentary requirement for the purchases indicated irregularity that can only be attributed to respondents who all took part in the release of payments in favor of Feshan. – With Paolo Romero, Edu Punay, Marvin Sy