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Echiverri faces new graft raps

By CZARINA NICOLE O. ONG

Former Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri is in hot water again after he has been slapped anew with a graft charge before the Sandiganbayan Seventh Division in connection with the anomalous improvement of several streets and alleys back in 2012.

Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Michelle V. Villabesa wrote in the charge sheet that Echiverri conspired with former city budget officer Jesusa Garcia and city accountant Edna Centeno who have been charged with an extra falsification of public documents charge.

They reportedly conspired with one another and awarded the amount of P1,440,761.87, which is the first partial payment out of a total of P4,364,900, to Maria Rosa S. Mandani, owner of MRRM Trading and Construction. This is for the improvement of Intan Street, Pitong Gatang Alley, Alley 1, Alley 2, and Gumamela Alley in Barangay 155, Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City.

They did so without first seeking authorization from the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Caloocan City “to the damage and prejudice of the government,” said Villabesa.

As for the falsification charges of Centeno and Garcia, this is for certifying the Allotment and Obligation Slip (ALOBS) dated March 20, 2012, which attested to the improvement of the abovementioned street and alleys. They did so even though they “very well knew that there was neither a specific appropriation for the said project nor a prior authorization from the Sangguniang Panlungsod.”

Echiverri’s bail bond has been set at P30,000, while Centeno and Garcia have to pay P42,000 each for their provisional liberty.

The three of them now have a total of nine graft charges before different divisions of the Sandiganbayan.

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