^

Headlines

Ombudsman sacks 12 execs over P54-M 'pork' scam

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday dismissed 12 top officials from three government-owned corporations for involvement in malversation of P54 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund of former Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa.

In a 58-page decision, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales imposed the penalty of dismissal for grave misconduct against officials from the state-owned National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), Technology Resource Center (TRC) and the defunct National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR).

Dismissed from service are Gondelina Amata, Chita Jalandoni, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Ofelia Ordoñez, Filipina Rodriguez and Sofia Cruz from NLDC.

TRC's Dennis Cunanan, Marivic Jover, Consuelo Lilian Espiritu and Belina Concepcion were also dismissed, while NABCOR's Victor Cacal and Romulo Relevo were also charged.

Records from 2007 to 2009 revealed that Dangwa received P54 million in PDAF coursed through non-government organizations connected with detained businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

The NLDC, NABCOR and TCR acted as implementing agencies of the anomalous contracts. The PDAF was supposed to be allotted for the procurement of livelihood and agricultural assistance kits and packages.

The other accused officials have been found to have processed, facilitated and approved the transactions and payments for the bogus projects in implementing the projects.

Citing the Special Audit Report of the Commission on Audit, the Ombudsman said in a report that agricultural and livelihood assistance kits or packages expected to be delivered were non-existent.

The NGOs, meanwhile, falsified supporting documents for liquidation while lacking the track record and capacity to implement the projects. Moreover, no public bidding or accreditation process were undertaken.

To date, P11 million of Dangwa's PDAF remains unliquidated.

"In spite of these deficiencies, respondent public officers Amata, Cunanan, Cacal, Relevo, Sevidal, Cruz, Jalandoni, Jover, Rodriguez, Ordoñez, Espiritu and Concepcion, with indecent haste, expedited the release of the PDAF disbursements to the NGOs affiliated with or controlled by Napoles. These foregoing acts of respondents constitute Grave Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service," the Ombudsman decision read.

The Ombudsman discredited 12 respondents' claim of good faith and presumption of regularity in the performance of their duties.

"The act of certification or release of funds, approval and the affixation of signature in the disbursement vouchers, obligation slip and checks are neither mere formalities nor ministerial functions but involve the exercise of sound discretion that must be diligently performed as these are imbued with public interest," the ruling stated.

Aside from the charges, the twelve officials were imposed penalties of cancelation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification for reemployment in the government service.

ATILDE

BENGUET REP

BEST INTEREST OF THE SERVICE

CHITA JALANDONI

CITING THE SPECIAL AUDIT REPORT OF THE COMMISSION

CONSUELO LILIAN ESPIRITU AND BELINA CONCEPCION

DANGWA

DENNIS CUNANAN

EMMANUEL ALEXIS SEVIDAL

ESPIRITU AND CONCEPCION

FILIPINA RODRIGUEZ AND SOFIA CRUZ

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with
no session for state
no session for code
no session for id_token
no session for user