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Iloilo lawmaker indicted for graft

MANILA, Philippines — Graft charges have been filed against Rep. Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas of Iloilo City in connection with the allegedly anomalous release of funds to the Iloilo Press Club (IPC) when he was city mayor.

In a complaint filed with the Sandiganbayan on Nov. 7, Treñas was accused of violating Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for allegedly giving unwarranted benefits to the IPC.

The Office of the Ombudsman said from December 2003 to January 2004, Treñas released to IPC a total of P500,000.

The ombudsman said the fund was meant to finance the construction of the IPC office in Barangay San Pedro, Molo district.

Anti-graft investigators said Treñas shouldn’t have entered into or approved the project as the IPC was not among the non-government organizations accredited by the city government.

Treñas, the ombudsman said, violated the rules of the Commission on Audit as he failed to monitor the implementation of the project or had the funds liquidated.

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“The project remained unaccounted for due to lack of documents and status report, causing damage and prejudice to the government,” anti-graft probers said.

A bail of P30,000 was recommended for Treñas’ temporary liberty.

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