• 2 lawmakers, governor in trouble over ‘pork’

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    Criminal and administrative charges were filed on Friday at the Office of the Ombudsman against two lawmakers for allegedly releasing their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel to ghost beneficiaries.

    Martin Badulis Dino, chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) filed charges of malversation, grave abuse of discretion and grave misconduct against Rep. Catalina Leonen Pizarro of ABS party-list and Rep. Michael Angelo Rivera of 1-CARE party-list, Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy and at least nine other government officials.

    Dino said the two lawmakers poured P25 million of their pork barrel into the provincial government of Isabela for its social services projects.

    The VACC, however, said investigation by the Commission on Audit (COA) revealed deficiencies in the disbursement of the P25 million such as lack of competitive bidding and urgency of procuring food and groceries.

    Moreover, the disbursement vouchers for P10 million were signed even without supporting documents. It was later found out that the supposed beneficiaries of the PDAF—the municipalities of Alicia, Angadanan, Burgos, Gamu and San Guillermo—did not receive any allocation.

    Dino said Dy and the rest of the provincial officers virtually admitted to their crime because the governor issued a certification that the P25 million has been returned to the national coffers, meaning the fund was initially disbursed.

    “This is tantamount to admission that indeed, the subject funds were disbursed, misappropriated and malversed. The fact that it was returned does not cure the defect,” the VACC chairman said.

    “The forbidden act has been consummated and the replenishment of fund will not in any way undo what has been done,” he added.

    Dino urged Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to suspend Pizarro and Rivera “considering the real and present danger that they will use their office to destroy evidence or otherwise disrupt or impede the investigation.”

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    1. I have lived in the Philippines now for 7 ys –Love the people! Their spirit and smiling faces –even in face of awful adversity..Their incredible faith in God–All make this a wonderful country..

      Sadly however; we see such blatant corruption–The lawmakers themselves are now trying each other From what I can understand;this country once was the 3rd or 4 th best performing economically in this area..

      Though a succession of governments that have drained billions away from the the country..We see a country that is now seen a poor relative ..

      It is shameful to hear;of the enormous amounts of pesos, going into charlatan’s pockets –Whilst others cant even afford decent education; or health care ,

      Children who die because the parents are to poor to get them to decent medical help

      We are faced with this shameful situation .High officials who are calling themselves Christians;pocketing huge sums..Whilst others are forces to live”On the smell of an oily rag” (Aussie expression

      We see a brain drain; where the brightest to our graduates will seek position abroad.

      They cant get a decent wage here

      .But certain individuals ;They re making so much by dishonesty..They are having a field day

      Thank Go! there is at least this type of format, where individuals can voice their distaste. At this type of endemic wholesale corruption; which is keeping this country from becoming a prosperous nation

      David M Meyer M.D. D.P.M PhD