LGU treasurer in P728M fertilizer fund scam dismissed from service
Acting on the orders of the Office of the Ombudsman, the Department of Finance (DOF) has dismissed from the service for grave misconduct a municipal treasurer from Guimbal, Iloilo for her involvement in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III also ordered the temporary suspension of three other officials and employees under DOF supervision, based on separate orders by the Office of the Ombudsman and the Civil Service Commission.
Dismissed from the service was Ma. Asuncion Isabel Gargalicano, the municipal treasurer of Guimbal, Iloilo in 2004 for “acting in complicity” with then Mayor Oscar Garin Jr. and other municipal employees in the anomalous procurement of P3 million-worth of Bionature liquid organic fertilizers from Feshan Philippines Inc.
According to the Ombudsman’s findings, the municipal government intentionally shortcut the procurement process to direct contracting to skip the public bidding for the fertilizers and ensure that Feshan bagged the P3-million contract.
The Ombudsman also found out that Feshan’s Bionature liquid fertilizer was grossly overpriced at P1,500 per bottle, as a similar product can be procured at only P120 per bottle.
Gargalicano was also meted the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits except for accrued leave credits, and perpetual disqualification for reemployment in the government service.
The Ombudsman said that in the event that the penalty of dismissal from the service is no longer applicable, Gargalicano would instead be penalized with a fine equivalent to her one-year salary.