The Sandiganbayan cleared a regional accountant of the Department of Agriculture (DA) implicated in alleged irregularities in the procurement of PHP3 million worth of fertilizer in Romblon in 2004.
The anti-graft court acquitted DA-Regional Field Unit IV (DA-RFU IV) accountant Raymundo Braganza of corruption and malversation charges.
“The Court finds no evidence to support the claim that accused Braganza made any false statements when he certified the subject ALOBS (allotment and obligations slips) or that he had knowledge of or was complicit in any acts of falsification or malversation as charged,” read the decision on March 4 and uploaded recently.
In 2014, the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict a number of officials, led by then congressman Perpetua Ylagan of the lone district of Romblon, as well as DA-RFU officials led by executive director Dennis Araullo, Braganza, budget officers Ma. Nieves Nabor and cashier Dory Iranzo, and Grover Dino.
The accused had roles in the 2004 approval of the release of a total of PHP3 million in two tranche payments to the National Organization for Agricultural Enhancement and Productivity Inc. (NOAEPI) as payment for 2,000 bottles of liquid fertilizers.
An investigation ensued following allegations that NOAEPI was an unqualified supplier.
Likewise included in the original charge sheet were provincial agriculturist Geishler Fadri, senior agriculturist Oscar Galos, NOAEPI president Joselito Floredeliza, procurement officer Erna Salvador, and project manager Jose Barredo.
The case against Ylagan was dismissed following his death in December 2008 while other co-accused were subsequently cleared, namely Iranzo, Dino, Flordeliza, Nabor, Fadri, and Galos.
The court likewise ordered the archiving of the cases against Araullo, Salvador, and Barredo. (PNA)