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2 former lawmakers to face raps over PDAF

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Two more former lawmakers will be charged before the Sandiganbayan with graft and malversation of public funds for alleged involvement in the pork barrel fund scam after the Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause that they committed the offenses.

Alvin Sandoval of Malabon and Navotas and Candido Pancrudo Jr. of Bukidnon had not been probed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).But Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan told reporters

It is also investigating lawmakers accused of receiving kickbacks from bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) implementing ghost projects through their priority development assistance fund (PDAF) allocations, he added.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered criminal cases filed against Sandoval and Pancrudo after finding sufficient evidence that they had pocketed kickbacks from their PDAF, Rafanan said.

Impleaded with the two former lawmakers are officials from Technology Resource Center (TRC), National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR) and NGOs Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc., Dr. Rodolfo A. Ignacio Sr. Foundation Inc.(DRAISFI), Jacinto Castel Borja Foundation Inc. (JCBFI) and Uswag Pilipinas Foundation Inc. (UPFI).

Morales also ordered that copies of the investigation results be furnished the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for action on possible violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), Rafanan said.

In October 2014, field investigators of the anti-graft agency found that Sandoval’s and Pancrudo’s PDAF allocations amounting to P30 million and P8.2 million, respectively, were used to fund ghost livelihood projects through bogus NGOs that they had personally endorsed.

Sandoval is charged with involvement in the misuse of his PDAF allocation from 2007 to 2009 released to TRC as the implementing agency.

The money was subsequently channeled to DRAISFI, UPFI and JCBFI, all identified by Sandoval. DRAISFI and UPFI both received P5 million each while JCBFI received P20 million.

The NGO proponents of Sandoval were fictitious and the list of beneficiaries was found to be forged, according to a 37-page resolution.

The barangay chairmen, including city agriculturists of the affected district, denied the conduct of any livelihood skills training in their jurisdictions, as well as the receipt of any livelihood and agricultural materials/kits.

Documentary requisites for disbursements to NGOs were falsified and the suppliers engaged were nonexistent or had no business permits, and the NGOs themselves were nonexistent, according to Rafanan.

Facing three counts of violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019 and malversation along with Sandoval are former TRC director-general Antonio Ortiz, former group manager Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, chief accountant Marivic Jover and Budget Officer IV Consuelo Lilian Espiritu. Former TRC deputy director-general Dennis Cunanan, UPFI president Petronila Balmaceda, UPFI secretary Fernando Balmaceda, DRAISFI director Rolleo Ignacio and JCBFI president Roberto Agana are facing one count each of violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019 and malversation.

Pancrudo’s case arose from the unlawful disbursement of his PDAF allocation in 2008 amounting to P8.2 million, of which P7.954 million was channeled by NABCOR to UPFI for the implementation of the livelihood training programs.

Facing two counts of graft malversation and malversation through falsification with Pancrudo are former NABCOR president Alan Javellana, director for administrative and finance Rhodora Mendoza, accounting division officer-in-charge Maria Ninez Guañizo, paralegal Victor Roman Cacal and UPFI president Mark Espinosa.

ALAN JAVELLANA

ALVIN SANDOVAL OF MALABON AND NAVOTAS AND CANDIDO PANCRUDO JR. OF BUKIDNON

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING ACT

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL

ANTONIO ORTIZ

BUT ASSISTANT OMBUDSMAN ASRYMAN RAFANAN

CONSUELO LILIAN ESPIRITU

DENNIS CUNANAN

PANCRUDO

RAFANAN

SANDOVAL

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