March 24, 2023

Another case for anti-graft and corrupt practices looms against officials of the Baguio City District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (BCDEO-DPWH) over alleged infrastructure project irregularities this time over the construction of a school building in one of the secondary schools in the city.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Aug. 5 had an 18-page complaint notarized before City Prosecutor Conrado Catral, Jr. preparatory to the filing before the Office of the Ombudsman.

He said the complaint against officials and employees of the BCDEO and a private contractor will be for violation of section 3 of paragraph E, F, and G of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Other allegations are grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority, gross neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming of a public officer, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service in relation with the irregularities in the construction of the subject school building.

He said it was based on the reports of the City Buildings and Architectures Office’s inspection team dated May 8, 2018 flagging concerns on the architectural, structural, electrical and sanitary aspects of the building.

Last month, the mayor filed his first Ombudsman case against the BCDEO alleging graft and corruption for the “substandard and defective,” development of a sidewalk along Bonifacio St. The mayor wants these actions as a litmus case on a government office filing such a complaint against another government office to show that the local government unit is serious in putting a stop to corruption. – Jessa Mardy Samidan