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NBI files raps vs 23 persons over anomalous P30-M CT scan project

By Jeffrey Damicog

Twenty former and current officials and personnel of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) and three others were charged before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) over an alleged anomalous P30 million CT scan project.



National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin said on Wednesday, that the Bureau’s Anti-Graft Division (NBI-AGD) filed the case before the OMB on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Under the charges, the respondents are accused of violating Republic Act 3019, the Anti-Graft and Practices Act; RA 9184, Government Procurement Act; and for gross negligence and serious dishonesty.

Twenty of the respondents are current and former officials and personnel of the NCMH. They are Dr. Bernardino Vicente, retired medical center chief II; Clarita Avila; Dionisio Tolentino; Dulce Valerio; Godofredo Valles, Dr. Jenkin Go; Engineer Esteban Gamurot; Dr. Alden Cuyos Jr.; Dr. Jumelyn Perez; Dr. Cynthia Agustin; Belma Cruz; Publio Plotena; Dr. Christopher Christian Chu; Jerry Rodriguez; Arturo Salcedo; Dr. Evelyn Belen; Engineer Edwin Pastor; Solidad Yamnbao; and Ma. Charina Concepcion Aberin.

Also charged were Portia Baviera of Technomed International, Inc., RJJL Construction and Trading general manager Ronald Tan, and Gacoscos.Construction general manager Ronald Allan Gacoscos.

Lavin said the case was filed before the OMB after the NBI-AGD conducted an investigation based on the complaint filed by the Employees Association of the NCHM.

Investigation revealed that the NCHM paid P24.5 million to Technomed for the CT scan equipment which was found to be defective.

“Despite the fact that it was not functional, not operational at the time of delivery, it was accepted and paid,” Lavin said.

NBI-AGD Chief Chatherine Campason-Remigio said the project was split into four contracts with an aggregate cost of P30,407,706.25 despite an approved budget cost of P26.8 million and was believed to have been done to circumvent the requirements of the law and the necessity of competitive bidding.

“The procurement process for the CT scan machine already commenced even prior to the building construction,” she added.

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