MANILA — Three former officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte are facing charges for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, for the anomalous procurement of 32 units of cellular phones amounting to Php317,380 in 2007.

In a six-page resolution, Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman ordered the filing of cases against former Schools Division Superintendent Aurora Cubero, Division Superintendent Salvacion Yumang and Administrative Officer Emma Betonio.

Records show that in November 2007, the three respondents facilitated the procurement of 32 cellphones by way of shopping and cash advance claiming that the items were exceptionally necessary and indispensable for official use.

Elman said that “the prevailing threshold for shopping (in 2007) was only Php 50,000.00 for unforeseen contingency requiring immediate purchase, while Php 250,000.00 for ordinary or regular office supplies and equipment not available in the procurement service.”

He added that “there is no showing that the cellular phones are ordinary or regular office supplies” as contemplated in procurement laws. Perfecto T. Raymundo/PNA