By Czarina Nicole Ong
Former officials of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) have been slapped with two graft charges before the Sandiganbayan Seventh Division in relation to the anomalous purchase of wood bridge ties, joint ties, and switch ties back on March 7, 2013.
Former General Manager Junio Norberto Mella Ragrario, Division Managers Rosendo Calleja and Abdul Pangadaman, Department Managers Estelito Nierva and Ruben Besmonte, Attorney V. Neofito Perilla, Assistant Department Manager Divina Dantes, Principal Engineers Cesar Bocanog and Mario Arias were charged with violating Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Leilani Tagulao-Marquez wrote in his rap sheets that the former officials gave undue advantage to Nikka Trading when they purchased 9,090 pieces Larch wood bridge ties, 428 pieces Larch wood joint ties, and 25 sets Larch wood switch ties amounting to P37,747,832.60 even though they knew fully well that the bidding documents required Yakal wood bridge ties, joint ties, and switch ties.
Their second graft charge also involved the same anomalous purchase. This time, it was for 1,400 pieces Larch wood bridge ties, 514 pieces Larch wood joint ties, and 16 sets of Larch wood ties amounting to P9,387,148.23. The accused once again disregarded the bidding requirement for Yakal wood bridge ties, joint ties, and switch ties.
Their total bail bond has been set at P60,000 each.
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