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Ex-DSWD chief, lawmaker face ‘pork’ scam charges

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman yesterday ordered the filing of multiple criminal cases against former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary Esperanza Cabral and former Caloocan City lawmaker Luis Asistio before the Sandiganbayan.

Both will be indicted for four counts of graft and four counts of malversation of public funds stemming from their alleged involvement in the pork barrel fund scam.

Also named respondents to the cases are DSWD employees Mateo Montaño and Leonila Hayahay and Cenon Mayor of the Kalookan Assistance Council Inc. (KACI).

The Office of the Ombudsman said it found probable cause to charge Cabral, Asistio and their alleged cohorts for misusing the former lawmaker’s priority development assistance fund (PDAF) allocations that total P8 million.

Records show that during his term, Asistio chose KACI to implement his PDAF-funded social services to “ghost” beneficiaries.

KACI’s incorporators were found to be Asistio’s former political coordinators, volunteers and supporters and that its office was located on the same property as Asistio’s office, the ombudsman said.

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