Ex-mayor sentenced 10 years for fertilizer fund scam

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Ex-mayor sentenced 10 years for fertilizer fund scam
Ex-mayor sentenced 6 to 10 years for fertilizer fund scam. (Image from Philippine Star)

Sandiganbayan 3rd Division sentenced ex-Bohol mayor Requillo Samuya of 6 to 10 years imprisonment for his participation in the P723 million fertilizer fund scam in 2004.

The decision declared on September 6, 2019, stated that Samuya was found guilty of graft for the buying fertilizer without public bidding. Samuya purchased 812 kilos of NBEM-21 Microaid Activator worth P975,000 from Akame Marketing International.

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The court said, “To be sure, the requirement of public bidding is not an idle ceremony. It has been aptly said that in our jurisdiction public bidding is the policy and medium adhered to in Government procurement and construction contracts under existing laws and regulations.”

Presiding Justice and Division Chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tan, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Bernelito Fernandez and Ronald Moreno signed the decision.

Edilberto Apostol of Akame Marketing, Sumaya’s co-accused remained at large.

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Office of the Ombudsman filed the graft case against Samuya and Apostol because of the Department of Agriculture’s P723 million Farm Inputs and Farm Implements program. The said fertilizer fund scam happened during former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo administration.

During the trial, Samuya argued that San Isidro, Bohol’s Bids and Awards Committee was not yet established when he bought the fertilizers. This forced them to proceed with direct contracting as a procurement method.

“His defense that the BAC was not yet constituted at that time is certainly puerile. All he had to do was to constitute the BAC and let the BAC perform its duties defined in the law,” the court said.

The Sandigan Bayan also sentenced Samuya of perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

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