Surigao town mayor faces raps for infra projects irregularities

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 Nov) – For implementing infrastructure projects that allegedly did not meet specifications in the plan, a formal complaint was lodged before the anti-graft court against a town mayor in Surigao del Norte.

Bacuag town Mayor Sheile Mae O. Cebedo – along with Engr. Panfilo O. Ochavez, project engineer of the said town; and Robert S. Yuipco, of BNG Construction – has been accused by the Nagpakabanang Lungsoranon sa Bacuag of violating the anti-graft law.

Based on the complaint filed last October 30 before the Office of the Ombudsman Mindanao, the group claimed that the “projects did not follow the proper bidding requirement and some of the materials used were almost recycled materials,” contrary to what was indicated in the program of works.

Cebedo, who is now on her third term, did not respond to MindaNews’ calls, text messages and emails. But before the complaint was filed, the mayor had said that this is just political harassment by her detractors.

Among the projects that are subject to investigation include the “Labhanan ng Bayan,” construction of covered court in all barangays, construction of bypass roads of the Poblacion, construction of Bitaug Bridge, construction of public abattoir, solar pump irrigation project, and construction of National Child Development Center.

Based on the investigation conducted by the Commission on Audit released last September 2, COA Regional Director Roland A. Rey said that seven of the covered courts had been inspected, and one of those, the one in Barangay Payapag, did not meet the approved plan and specifications.

“It was observed that the end portion of every truss beyond the roof beam were made of an angle bar instead of a channel bar,” the inspection report said.

Atty. Mario F. Sison, regional director of National Bureau of Investigation-Caraga, told MindaNews that aside from these cases, there will be other cases to be filed against the town mayor soon. But he did not give out details yet on the “flurry of cases.”