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Ombudsman orders filing of graft raps vs. Gov Alvarez over water supply contract

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Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez faces graft indictment of Palawan with graft over his alleged involvement in an anomalous water supply contract for the province.

The Office of the Ombudsman has already ordered filing of the case before the after finding probable cause to charge him with graft.

The case stemmed from the P193 million supplemental agreement for the Cagayan De Oro City Water Supply System Improvement Project.

The Ombudsman discovered that the December 2005 supplemental agreement entered into by the Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD) Geo-Transport and Construction Inc. (GTCI) did not undergo public bidding.

Also, the Ombudsman said the COWD also gave at that time Rio Verde Water Consortium, Inc. (RVWCI) a bulk water supply deal. At that time, Alvarez was a representative of RVWCI.

The Ombudsman found that the COWD board already gave the project to RVWCI even before the opening of bids on November 18 that year even though the consortium failed to submit eligibility requirements.

It also noted that it took the COWD board more than two years to notice the differences between the model contract and the signed contract with RVWCI concerning the billing rates, which went up to P11.52 per cubic meter instead of the agreed upon P10.45 per cubic meter.

“In so doing, not only did respondent Board members contravene the procurement law and blatantly demonstrate impropriety and partiality, they also belie their averment that they did not receive the BAC Resolution disqualifying the RVW consortium,” explained the Ombudsman.

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