‘Cans of Worms’ in Misamis Oriental

While the verbal tussle between the Executive Department and the City Council in Cagayan De Oro City continues to rage, the provincial Capitol in Misamis Oriental is also digging the skeletons in the closet.
There are insinuations that former provincial Gov. Oscar S. Moreno left cans of worms at the provincial Capitol before hopping and running for the mayoral post in Cagayan De Oro City in 2013. There were accusations that Moreno scooped the treasury of Misamis Oriental and left a debt of about P 2 Billion.
One of the most intriguing issues was also the allegation that the Moreno administration failed to pay more than P 200 million obligations to the PhilHealth in Misamis Oriental.
The financial woes that Moreno allegedly left to his successor was one of its kind in local governance. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why the incumbent provincial governor becomes slim and slender? When everyone thought that the problem is over, comes some more surprising find. Now, this is all about the transactions made by the Provincial Engineers Office and the Bidding and Awards Committee (BAC) during Moreno’s incumbency.
This time, the Commission on Audit (COA) in Manila has released a Notice of Disallowance to former Gov. Moreno and former BAC members in connection with the payments made from 2007, 2010, 2011 to 2012, amounting to more than P 20 million.
Aside from the Notice of Disallowance, the COA also issued a separate Notice of Suspension for the payment of another P 20 million on transactions made from 2008, 2009, and 2010.
It is also noticeable that the transactions made under these contracts were mostly for equipment rentals. Except for the Earthtools Development Corporation, which entered only about three transactions, the rest of the transactions were made by the Equipment Corporation which totaled to almost P 20 million. Perhaps, the COA noticed this, too.
Anyway, it was not the transaction that caught the eye of the COA ‘though. The COA noticed that all those transactions did not undergo proper bidding. COA also scoffed on the canvassing that were reportedly rigged.
In effect, the COA has given Moreno and the former members of the BAC to return the more than the P 20 million paid for the alleged anomalous transactions with the Equipment Corporation.
It was not only Moreno, who was held liable of the alleged anomalous transactions. Likewise, the COA also ordered the former members of the BAC to return the taxpayers’ money, which were spent under an alleged irregular transactions.
The other members of the former BAC include Elmer N. Wabe, acting provincial budget officer, Patrictk Gabutina, provincial administrator, Atty. Imelda Marie Beltran, provincial legal officer, Atty. Jose Sabanal, provincial legal officer, Elsie Lopoy, provincial general services office, Engr. Rolando M. Pacuribot, assistant provincial engineer, Danilo O. Maputol, provincial agriculturist, Leenmar Tinagan, PGSO canvasser, Equipment Corporation and Earthtools Development Corporation. By the way, are these former workers at the provincial Capitol given juicy positions in the City Hall? Just asking..
The COA also ordered the incumbent Governor Bambi Emano to desist payments of the more than P 20 million to Equipment Corporation and Earthtools Development Corporation until the issue is resolved.
Somehow, we could only say that unless formal cases are filed against Moreno, et al., in court, all these insinuations and allegations are nothing but nonsense. Or, we could safely say that the “cans of worm” that Moreno reportedly left at the provincial capitol in Misamis Oriental are, but, empty cans.-0-

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