Biazon, 32 others in pork raps

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Customs chief got kickbacks when he was solon – NBI

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CUSTOMS Commissioner Ruffy Biazon was among seven former lawmakers charged with direct bribery and graft and corruption for allegedly receiving kickbacks from the release of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to questionable non-government organizations (NGOs) linked with Janet Lim-Napoles.

Aside from the former members of the House of Representatives, three heads of government agencies, two presidents of NGOs, 12 auditors of the Commission on Audit (COA) and several other individuals were indicted at the Office of the Ombudsman.

Biazon is a member of the ruling Liberal Party. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said it is up to him if he will quit his post as Customs chief.
Malacañang declined to comment on the charging of the President’s party-mate, but Palace Deputy Presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said the charges against the respondents are based on evidence.

Janet Lim-Napoles, the supposed brains of the pork barrel scam, was also charged as a principal suspect.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) brought a truckload of documents and evidence to the Office of the Ombudsman in Agham Road, Quezon City on Friday.

De Lima included Biazon in the charge sheet after investigators gathered enough evidence such as affidavits and pertinent documents from the Commission on Audit (COA) to pin down the 45-year-old son of former Armed Forces chief and now Muntinlupa City Rep. Rodolfo Biazon.

The NBI did not file plunder charges against Biazon and his co-accused because their alleged individual kickbacks were lower than the P50-million ceiling for plunder.

The NBI said when he was still a congressman, Biazon pocketed P1.95 million from the release of his pork barrel to questionable NGOs.

Former lawmakers Douglas Cagas of Davao del Sur allegedly got P9.3 million, Salacnib Baterina of Ilocos Sur, P7.5 million, Marc Douglas Cagas 4th of Davao del Norte, P5.54 million, Arrel Olano of Davao del Norte, P3.175 million, Arthur Pingoy Jr. of South Cotabato, P7.055 million and Rodolfo Valencia of Oriental Mindoro, P2.4 million.

Also in the charges sheet were the alleged “representatives’ of the former lawmakers — Zenaida Cruz-Ducut,  former congressman of Pampanga and incumbent chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission, and Celia Cuasay.

Also charged were Alan Javellana, former president of the National Agribusiness Corp (Nabcor), Antonio Ortiz, former director general of the Technology Resource Center (TRC) and Dennis Cunanan, former deputy director general (now the director general).

Javellana, Ortiz and Cunanan were also among those charged in the first batch of pork barrel scam-related complaint filed by the NBI.

Also charged yesterday were two heads of Napoles-controlled NGOs —  Mylene Encarnacion of the Countryside Agri and Rural Economic and Development Foundation Inc (CARED) and Evelyn de Leon of the Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI). Officials and employees of implementing agencies — Victor Cacal, Romulo Revelo, Ma. Ninez Guanizo, Ma. Julie Villaralvo-Johnson, and Rhodora Mendoza of Nabcor and Francisco Figura and Marivic Jover of TRC—were likewise indicted.

The COA resident auditors named as respondents were Annie Recabo as team leader and her subordinates Rebecca Aquino, Bella Tesorero, Susan Guardian,  Elizabeth Savella, Merle Valentin, Diana Casado, Aida Villania, Laarni Lyn Torres, and Herminia Aquino as supervising auditor.
Biazon said he was willing to face the allegations.

“Accounting for public funds comes with the territory of serving in government, whether it be at the lowest levels of local government or at the highest levels of national office. Therefore, I am willing and ready to face the allegations raised today pertaining to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocated to my congressional district during my term as representative of the Lone District of Muntinlupa,” he said in a statement.

The Customs commissioner said he had always exercised prudence and fidelity as a lawmaker.

Biazon said that in some instances, the processes involved have been vulnerable to abuse.

“I have yet to see the documents pertinent to this issue, but I welcome the opportunity to clarify and answer the accusations, whether before the National Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Ombudsman, or the courts,” he said.

NBI investigators culled evidence from the pork barrel releases from 2007 to 2009 as shown in the COA audit.

“Our theory is that they’re all co-conspirators with varying roles, varying degrees of involvement or culpability,” De Lima said.

She said more former lawmakers should have been charged but they learned that four former congressmen have died.

De Lima said her office is considering issuing a lookout bulletin, including the sending of a request to the Department of Foreign Affairs, to cancel the passports of the respondents.

The government earlier filed plunder charges against Napoles and senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.

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13 Comments

  1. he should be suspended, relieved of his duty until cleared. or leave of absence. this is another proof that Pnoy is trying to clean up the public service but again he need the support of all of us, he cannot do it alone. there are many other corruption going on that he does not know until reported. lets hope this crackdown will continue until they put a dent on corruption. in addition the government should start increasing pay of all government workers or at least modest pay to prevent them from corruption although corruption is also a greed. they need to put up a reeducation programs to all government workers especially newly hired. remind them of the consequences and how to live within their means and not beyond their means. and this should include the military and police personnel

  2. What about that son of the Bible Bashing Villanueva? So young a thief. I remember him calling Pres. G M Arroyo Peki president many times in the media. Now he is found to be one of the thieves. Why doe he not call Abnoy Peki? if not for the hocus pocus he wouldn’t be President. Why? because he has a cozy job in Tesda. Mag resign ka kawatan, nakakahiya ka sa Tatay mo.

  3. It is unbelievable how these greedy Public Servants think they deserve and take so much more for the inefficient jobs and services they provide. Do these people have a conscious do they really feel justified in their well above their pay grade houses while 20 million of their country men are starving. Instead of trying to be quality focused Managers for services to the Philippines they are stealing the life blood money from the country. How you so called Christian people can sleep at night amazes me. You must have cold black hearts. Take five steps back from your high life and ask yourselves do I really deserve the money I’m taking?

  4. Its how filipinos look at things, they need to change their attitude. For instance, manny pacquiao, he was requested by the bir to submit hie papers including origonal receipts showing the tax he paid in the us. He had 2 to 3 years to give those documents but just didnt do it. Now they have suspended his bank accounts until he submits this paperwork & he sayd people in government are out to get him. Its so stupid but hey its the filipino way. Its never my fault, its not my fault i didnt submit my paper works, the government are at fault & encouraging the bir to attack me. Knowing that would you now vote for pacquiao, i wouldnt as he seems incompetent to me. He might have good intentions but he is incompetent at the very least & he & people like him are responsible for running the government.

  5. Federico Santos on

    those high government officials that are not aligned or no connection with the so-called Hyatt 10 group will be eliminated in the P’noy administration. Why only Biazon is included in the case? There are others law makers in the senate and the lower house that involved in the scam. but due to their connection to the Hyatt 10, and to De Lima NBI were spared. this is now a clear case of cleansing with powerful detergent the present administration officials. those officials that are not sure of supporting super MARio kuno will have no place in this government. the Members of the Hyatt 10 are highly traitors and have done nothing except sow intrigues and mislead the people. Audit PDAF, IRA and DAP FUNDS, and if evidence warrants, Charge all to eliminate involve corrupt government officials. By doing this, POLITICAL DYNASTY will submerge.

  6. DIVINE SACRIFICIAL OFFER – RUFFY BIAZON

    Clearly Politically motivated ploy. Yes, a Liberal Party member and ally of PNOY: Custom chief Ruffy Biazon, was included to be a Sacrificial Lamb in the second batch of PDAF investigation to make it look like that De Lima is not being partisan and not getting a direct and immediate telephone link-up with PNOY orders in Malacanang. Brilliant!!

  7. Apolonio Reyes on

    DOJ Sec. De Lima is correct that the PDAF Scams is a conspiracy of all that involved the lawmakers-breakers of Congress, the DBM, COA Auditors, DA Line Agencies and fake NGO’s without one’s participation there will no PDAF Scams of Janet Napoles or Godofredo Roque. All of them should be investigated and if found guilty should be put in the NBP at Muntinlupa.
    I hope there will also be some contractors from DPWH and suppliers from DepED who will turn to be whistle blowers as these departments, like other government departments, are full of anomalies and crooks.
    Tama ngayon ang ginagawa mo Sec. De Lima and Pnoy, ihabla lahat ng kasangkot, opposition man of Liberals. Kudos to you both.

  8. Edgar G. Festin on

    Although he Commission on Audit has been exposed as a weapon against enemies of President Aquino and his ruling coalition of parties, it is good that the Justice Department and its subsidiary agency, the NBI, have now charged Customs Commissioner Biazon and other persons who are appointees of B, S. Aquino about their involvement in the prok barrel scam, based on evidence gathered by the NBI.

    Biazon should also be investigated for transgressions as boss of Customs. From what former Customs Deputy Chief for Intelligence retired general Danilo Lim has been saying, Mr. Biazon should be held to account for a lot of the smuggling.

  9. Why do Filipinos keep on electing these bozos?
    Politics in the Phils is like a circus
    No wonder its a 3rd world country

  10. Manuel Villamater on

    Maybe what is happening is a chance for Pres. Pnoy and the Philippines to somehow change the mindset of the current politicians and public officials that being involved with graft and corruptions is the wrong path to personal enrichment and those found guilty will face severe prison punishment. This is the only way to discourage would be corrupt politicians and public officials to engage in the current systematic graft and corruptions in all branches of government, the enforcement of the law and punishment of those guilty without considerations of kinship, friendship and party affiliation, nobody should be above the law. Pres. Pnoy who I believe is not a thief or a crook has the unenviable opportunity to clean up the Philippine government and politics and leave a lasting legacy, he should devote his remaining years in office to the prosecution of those involved and guilty of the current corruptions occupying the newspaper front pages since July. This should be his gift and legacy to his country and the Filipino people.

    • Anong legacy ni noynoy? Hindi ba pagnanakaw ng kaban ng gobyerno, sa mga suhol ng mga tongresspeople at senatong to oust CJ CORONA? Sinira nya ang Congress, Judiciary at Executive–mga yan ang maituturing na Legacy ni noynoy.

  11. The inefficient custom commissioner is now unveiled as a PDAF thief. Anyway he is still being loved by Pnoy either sinner or saint.