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Tupas Sr., 3 others charged with graft

  • Written by Joel dela Torre
  • Published in Provincial

THE Office of the Ombudsman filed graft charges against former Iloilo governor Niel Tupas Sr. and three of his officials in connection with the overpayment of unconsumed electricity worth P4 million to Green Core Geothermal Inc.
   
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said the Office found probable cause to indict Tupas Sr. with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
   
Also charged were Provincial accountant Lyd Tupas, Assistant Department head Sandra Bionat and General Services Department head Ramie Salcedo.
   
The complaint involved a contract which was entered into by Tupas and the National Power Corporation (later assumed by NPC’s successor Green Core) on Sept. 26, 2007 for the bulk supply of electric energy from Sept. 26, 2007 to Dec.  25, 2011.
   
Anticipating the completion of the proposed construction of the Iloilo Multi-Purpose Convention Center, the supply contract provided for an increase in the contracted energy from 185,000kwh/month to 400,000kwh/month.
   
Due to the non-construction of the convention center in Dec. 2009, Tupas requested the adjustment and reduction of the contract energy from 400,000kwh/month to 17,000kwh/month. 
   
Green Core applied the adjustment only for the period covering June 26, 2010 to Dec. 25,  2011.
   
As a result, Green Core was paid the amount representing the contracted energy of 1,084,814.50 kwh, although the actual energy consumption of Iloilo was only 515,180.50kwh.
   
A total of P5.88 million was paid to Green Core, although the actual consumption of the province amounted to only P1.88 million, resulting to an overpayment of almost P4 million covering the billing period for December 2009 to April 2010.
 
In a related administrative case, Lyd Tupas, Bionat and Salcedo were found guilty of Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and Neglect of Duty and were meted out the penalty of suspension from the service for one year.

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