Lamitan official ordered to answer graft charges PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 April 2013 15:11

The Office of the Ombudsman in Davao City has ordered Lamitan City Vice Mayor Arleigh Eisma to submit his counter-affidavit relative to the criminal and administrative cases filed against him by Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay.

Furigay’s camp officially received the Ombudsman’s order signed by Maria Corazon Arancon last March 20, 2013 in which they believe that the same was also received by Eisma on the same date, said Furigay’s legal counsel Quirino Esguerra Jr.

In January 28 this year, Furigay first filed four cases with the Ombudsman relative to alleged questionable transactions that Eisma has entered into in the disbursement of his allotted gasoline allowances.

Evidence gathered by Furigay’s camp showed that Eisma has consumed almost P1.5 million worth of fuel for only four months time. Worse, the fuel was purchased in Eisma’s own gasoline station in Lamitan City.

Aside from the four cases, Mayor Furigay, through  Atty. Esguerra has filed six other cases against Eisma for alleged violation of anti-graft and corrupt practices act and other existing laws.

The more than 5-kilos of documents were officially received by Ombudsman-Davao last February 27, 2013.

The documents and many other attachments will serve as pieces of evidence against Eisma on violation of RA 3019 otherwise known as the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Sec.10 of RA 9184 (The Government Procurement Reform Act), Sections 341 and 356 of RA-7160 or the Local Government Code and Sec.7 of RA-6713 or the Code of Ethical Standard for Public Official, when he (Eisma) started withdrawing fuel from his own gasoline station in Lamitan City without following proper procedure, Esguerra said.

The Ombudsman’s office  has acted on the first four complaints which already been docketed as OMB-M-C-13-0061, Esguerra said.

“Aside from the four criminal complaints, there are other six cases of similar nature that are now pending in the Office of the Ombudsman,” Esguerra told newsmen.

Yesterday, Esguerra presented other documents confirming that the remaining six cases were already acted upon by the Ombudsman and have already been docketed as OMB-M-C 13-0102 to 0107.

Based on the documents, Eisma has withdrawn fuel from Shell Gas Station, in which he owns, amounting to P3, 364, 753.70 for less than a year.

The documents revealed that Eisma was spending more than P270, 000 a month of gasoline and diesel from January of 2013 to November of the same year.

“This is taxpayers’ money. We want to make it sure that all transactions should be in accordance to government procedures and must be beneficial to the people and not for someone’s personal and vested interest,” the last-term mayor Furigay said.

The additional six cases represent the other 6-month transactions in the year 2012 in which Eisma allegedly consumed P1, 959, 759.70 worth of fuel, the document presented by Esguerra revealed.

Based on the government checks issued to Shell Gas Station, Eisma has allegedly paid P279, 906.00 for February 20, 2012 alone, P279, 980.35 in March 28, 2012, p279, 977 IN May 2, 2012, P279, 987 in May 23, 2012, P279, 940 in June 25, 2012, P279, 986 in July 13, 2012 and P279, 981 in August 13, 2012. The amount of the four other checks paid in January, October 3, October 31 and November 26 all in 2012, has pegged to more than a million of pesos with an average of P279, 000 plus each month.

According to Esguerra, Eisma’s questionable transactions clearly violated the enumerated law above wherein he directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any share or benefit, for himself in connection with the said transaction (Sec.3 of RA-3019).

“There has been no document that will prove that indeed the bidding procedure was observed before the transactions were executed (violation of RA 9184),” Esguerra said.

He explained that Eisma has blatantly violated Sections 341 of The Local Government Code that says “the law forbids against pecuniary interest that any local officer, having direct or indirect interest, in any contract, work or business of the local government unit of which he is an accountable officer shall be administratively liable.”

If found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, Esguerra said that such violation is punishable by law for imprisonment and perpetual disqualification to hold public office. — JBV