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Mayor Rovillos faces graft raps for buying P550K worth of seedlings

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San Andres, Romblon Mayor Fernald Rovillos has been charged with graft over his involvement in the alleged anomalous purchase of seedlings in 2014.

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

Also named as his co-accused are then-municipal accountant Melinda Gaac, municipal planning and development officer Mary Claire Mortel, Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Caezar Valiente, BAC vice chairman Gay Tan, and BAC member Genny Rose Vergara.

The Ombudsman also included as accused in the case Perlas Seed Growers proprietor Reynaldo Perlas.

Records show that the local government purchased from Perlas Seed Growers 10,000 pieces of Bitaog Seedlings worth P550,000.

However, the Ombudsman said the deal was without undergoing the required public bidding.

Though the deal was made through direct contracting, the Ombudsman said it lacked certification from the Department of Trade and Industry that no other firm offered the same seedlings at a lower price.

Apart from this, the Ombudsman discovered Perlas Seed Growers received the full payment of the purchase price from the local government even if the deliveries of the seedlings were incomplete.