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LRay faces graft case anew

By Joseph Tristan Roxas GMA News QUEZON CITY --- Camarines Sur Second District Representative Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. has been charged with a second graft case at the Sandiganbayan, this time over the alleged anomalous security service contract he entered into as governor from July 2008 to December 2009. Ombudsman graft investigator Gian Carla Hernal filed a complaint for one count of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Villafuerte. Then-provincial accountant Leticia de Leon Aliorde, executive assistant Richard Fooshee Rivera, rural health physician Bernadette Galan Carlos, and medical officer Gerardo Nolasco Villafuerte also face the same charge. The Sandiganbayan received the complaint on Monday, June 18. Villafuerte and his co-accused allegedly acted with “manifest partiality, evident bad faith, and/or gross inexcusable negligence” when they gave unwarranted benefits to Tigon Security Investigation and General Services Inc. As head of procurement, Villafuerte entered into a contract with Tigon Security and approved the disbursement vouchers for the payment following a certification from Aliorde that supporting documents for the security services were complete. Rivera, Carlos, and Gerardo also certified obligation requests that the payments for Tigon Security were valid and legal. The Ombudsman, however, said the contract for security services failed to undergo a public bidding as required under the Government Procurement Reform Act. It did not state the amount of the contract with Tigon Security. A bail bond of P30,000 has been recommended for each accused in the case. Aside from this, Villafuerte is facing a graft case at the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division in connection with the Camirines Sur provincial government’s alleged illegal procurement of petroleum products worth P5M from a private company without holding a public bidding in 2010. GMA News Online is still trying to reach the camp of Villafuerte for comment as of posting time.

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