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Ombudsman dismisses 5 TRC execs in PDAF scam

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales announced yesterday the dismissal from government service of five Technology Resource Center (TRC) executives for their alleged involvement in the misuse of P101 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.

The Office of the Ombudsman said deputy director general Dennis Cunanan, chief accountant Marivic Jover, budget officer IV Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, sales and promotion officer V Belina Concepcion and internal auditor V Maurine Dimaranan were found guilty of administrative offenses.

Aside from dismissal, the ombudsman also cancelled the civil service eligibility of the five officials, forfeited their retirement benefits, and perpetually disqualified them from holding public office and taking civil service examinations.

Graft probers said the involvement of the five in the pork barrel fund scam, which has resulted in the filing of criminal cases before the Sandiganbayan, showed that they are also liable for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

The charges stemmed from their reported involvement in the misuse of the PDAF of former representatives Alvin Sandoval of Malabon and Navotas, Anthony Miranda of the 4th district of Isabela and Constantino Jaraula of Cagayan de Oro City.

Investigation showed that the five TRC officials allegedly facilitated, processed and approved the illegal disbursement of public funds orchestrated by Sandoval, Jaraula and Miranda.

Graft probers have uncovered irregularities like the lack of public bidding in projects procurement, lack of due diligence and audit in checking the track record and financial capability of the selected non-government organizations (NGOs) and the acceptance of fabricated liquidation reports, list of recipients or beneficiaries, inspection reports, progress reports and other PDAF-related documents. 

Sandoval, Miranda and Jaraula are facing multiple graft and malversation of public funds charges for the anomalous utilization of their PDAFs amounting to P30 million, P20.6 million and P50.5 million, respectively.

Morales tasked the secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to implement the decision and, in case of separation from government service prior to the issuance of the ruling, the dismissal shall be converted into a fine equivalent to the respondent’s salary for one year, deductible from their retirement benefits, accrued leave credits or other receivables.

The anti-graft office said the dismissal from government service of the TRC executives follows the dismissal in April 2015 of several Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit VI officers for gross misconduct in connection with the anomalous implementation of some agricultural projects, funded from Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s PDAF, in the 4th district of Negros Occidental.

ALVIN SANDOVAL OF MALABON AND NAVOTAS

ANTHONY MIRANDA

CONSUELO LILIAN ESPIRITU

DENNIS CUNANAN

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE REGIONAL FIELD UNIT

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

ISABELA AND CONSTANTINO JARAULA OF CAGAYAN

JARAULA AND MIRANDA

JINGGOY ESTRADA

MARIVIC JOVER

MIRANDA AND JARAULA

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