Corruption allegations against the former Capiz governor Esteban Evan Contreras have been dropped by
the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan's allegations against Contreras, former provincial administrator Edwin
Monares, and former head of Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital Dr. Edmarie Tormon were dismissed
by the Ombudsman for lack of merit in a 28-page ruling dated February 20, 2023.
The case against Nizzi Billedo of NGB Marketing, an entrepreneur and medical supplier, was also
dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
The four were accused of violating the Government Procurement Reform Act (RA 9184), the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019), and Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, which prohibits the
misappropriation of public funds or property.
The complaint stemmed from the findings of SP based on the committee hearings conducted by the
Committee on Appropriations in relation to the request of Contreras for the supplemental appropriation
of funds amounting to P79,106,780 procured by the NGB Marketing, particularly dialysis package B
worth P5,728,000 and Dialyzer with surface area of P1,499,000.
According to the Ombudsman, “there is insufficient evidence that public respondents were either
directly or indirectly, interested for personal gain, or had material interest in the subject procurement
projects. They only discharged the functions of their office and there is no evidence showing that they
did not perform their duties with regularity. Moreover, the procurement for hemodialysis supplies was
urgently needed by RMPH in view of the alarming increase in the number of patients requiring
hemodialysis brought by the pandemic. And contrary to the allegation of complaint, the transactions
with NGB Marketing were not shown to be manifestly unlawful, inequitable or irregular.”*