Masbate Guv Kho rapped over fertilizer fund scam


Masbate Governor Antonio Kho has been charged with graft over his alleged involvement in the fertilizer fund scam.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed the case against Kho before the Sandiganbayan after finding probable cause to indict him.

Named as co-accused along with Kho were former provincial administrator and Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Roger Rapsing, Hexaphil president Alex Rivera, and Area Agriventures Inc. manager and collector Victoria Ajero.

The case stemmed from Kho’s 2004 release of P5 million for the purchase of fertilizers under the Farm Inputs and Farm Implements Program (FIPIP) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The Ombudsman discovered that the politiko approved two purchase requests for 7,143 bottles of liquid fertilizers amounting to P700.08 per bottle from Hexaphil as exclusive distributor.

However, the Ombudsman pointed out that the transaction was tainted with irregularities including the use of direct contracting and the naming of specific brand names.

Apart from this, Hexaphil was also found to have submitted fake or expired business permits and licenses from the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority and Securities and Exchange Commission.