19 gov’t execs axed on PDAF scam

MANILA — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has imposed the penalty of dismissal from the service against 19 officials from state-owned National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), Technology Resource Center (TRC), including the now defunct National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR), for their participation in the anomalous utilization of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Ordered perpetually dismissed from government service are: Chief of Staff Jennifer Karen Lagbas and Chief Public Affairs Officer Danilo Jamito; NABCOR representatives Alan Javellana, Encarnita Cristina Munsod, Romulo Relevo, Rhodora Mendoza; NLDC representatives Gondelina Amata, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Ofelia Ordoñez, Sofia Cruz; and TRC representatives Marivic Jover; Dennis Cunanan, Marivic Jover, Belina Concepcion, and Maurine Dimaranan; Filipina Rodriguez, Chita Jalandoni, Gregoria Buenaventura and Elsie Walican.

The 19 respondents were found liable for various administrative offenses such as grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

In case the penalty can no longer be implemented due to separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to the respondent’s one year salary.

Ombudsman probers found that the respondents conspired with lawmakers in the anomalous utilization of the PDAF of former Reps. Salacnib Baterina, Prospero Nograles, Marc Douglas Cagas IV and Thomas Dumpit, Jr.

In their modus operandi, the multi-million peso PDAF projects were found to be “ghost projects.”

In the Ombudsman’s field probe, it was discovered that many of the livelihood project beneficiaries denied receipt of the livelihood technology kits/materials, grafted seedlings, hand tractors and water pumps.

The reported projects implemented, through the non-government organizations (NGOs), were supported by questionable and spurious documents.

The suppliers also denied providing farm implements or issuing any invoices and receipts.

The 19 respondents are also facing trial before the Sandiganbayan for multiple counts of violation of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, and malversation. PTR/PNA-northboundasia.com