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CA upholds ex-TRC exec’s dismissal in PDAF scam

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the dismissal from service of former Technology Resource Center (TRC) deputy director general Dennis Cunanan in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

While Cunanan resigned from his post in 2014, the CA’s 12th Division affirmed the 2017 order of the Office of the Ombudsman dismissing Cunanan from government service after finding him guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct.

In the ruling promulgated last March 29, the CA junked Cunanan’s petition seeking the reversal of the ombudsman order.

The court agreed with the findings of the anti-graft office that Cunanan was administratively liable for the disbursement of the PDAF funds of then Ilocos Sur Rep. Salacnib Baterina to non-government organizations Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc. (PSDFI) and Kaagapay Magpakailanman Foundation Inc .(KMFI).

“When petitioner (Cunanan) affixed his signature in the disbursement vouchers, he is presumed to have verified that the documents submitted by the NGOs were proper and truthful... He repeatedly certified and signed the said vouchers despite the fact that PSDFI and KMFI were not selected by TRC through public bidding,” read the ruling penned by Associate Justice Ruben Reynaldo Roxas.

No training or livelihood projects were implemented in the towns identified as recipients of the funds, and no farm inputs or livelihood materials were distributed to target beneficiaries, according to court records.

COURT OF APPEALS

DENNIS CUNANAN

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