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Vice Gov. Balite, 4 others suspended by Ombudsman over questionable purchase of heavy equipment

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Bohol Vice Governor Dionisio Balite and four other local officials his province have been suspended for nine months by the Office of the Ombudsman over the questionable purchase of heavy equipment in 2006 and 2009.

Also ordered suspended with him are provincial administrator Alfonso Damalerio II, drug rehabilitation program head Cesar Tomas Lopez, Loay Vice Mayor Brigido Imboy, and Maribojoc Mayor Jose Veloso of the town of Maribojoc.

The administrative case against them stemmed from the purchases made by then Bohol governor Erico Aumentado of heavy equipment amounting to P160 million.

Those who got suspended were among the officials who gave the authorization to Aumentado to make the purchases.

However, the Ombudsman pointed out the purchases were questionable because it was made through letters of credit (LC) which violated a memorandum order issued by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which prohibits the use of LCs to pay local or foreign suppliers.