Sandiganbayan suspends hospital chief, 3 others over MRI procurement

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan slapped a 90-preventive suspension against officials of Quirino Memorial Medical Center in connection with the procurement of a P44.9-million Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine.

The Anti-Graft Court suspended Medical Center Chief Dr. Angeles De Leon, Nurse Luz Padua, Nutritionist Milagrina Jacinto and Medical Technologist Michael Raquel, all from the Quirino Memorial Medical Center, after the Supreme Court affirmed the Sandiganbayan’s power to suspend.

It will be recalled that in 2015, the Sandiganbayan ordered the suspension of De Leon and her co-accused who are standing trial for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) in connection with the procurement of a P44.9million Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine from Fernando Medical Enterprises, Inc. (FMEI) in 2005 where they violated the rule prohibiting advance payment of goods.

Ombudsman investigation showed that during project implementation, De Leon, et al. approved the release of P16,406,963.64 representing the supplier’s advance and progress payments despite FMEI’s failure to deliver and install the MRI machine.

Under Section 13 of R.A. No. 3019, any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act or under Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property whether as a simple or as a complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office.

The Secretary of the Department of Health was directed to implement the order.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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