THE Office of the Ombudsman has been urged to conduct a lifestyle check on former Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman who is facing charges of plunder.
Citing a special audit report by the Commission on Audit (COA), private complainant Hernando Bruce alleged that Lagman conspired with his daughter Krisel Lagman- Luistro to accumulate P240 million from 2007 to 2009.
“I am requesting for an immediate lifestyle check involving the following properties since I have also discovered that the respondents have acquired several questionable properties which were obviously funded out of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which are in the name of their known dummies who are their close relatives and friends, partial photos of which are attached herewith,” Bruce said in a supplemental affidavit filed at the Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday.
He presented photos of a gravel and sand rock crusher plant in Sto. Domingo in Albay, “the frontage of the huge mansion of the respondent Lagman which sprawled in a 10 – hectare property in Sogod, Bacacay, Albay,” and a heavy equipment garage in Bacacay.
Bruce said there were other properties “presumed to be owned” by Lagman. These include a mansion in the US, Tagaytay, and Legazpi City; a printing press in Quezon City; a commercial land in Brgy. Sto. Cristo; and real properties in Tabaco City.
In April, Bruce filed a graft complaint with the Ombudsman last April against Lagman, alleging that the latter “diverted his PDAF for the development of areas outside his legislative district.”
He alleged that the former lawmaker funded projects that were supposedly constructed in private properties and “other projects that unduly benefited private entities and/or those that were deemed anomalous.”
Further, Bruce said that the special audit report listed several transactions charged against Lagman’s PDAF with “suppliers of questionable existence” for projects in Tabaco.
Lagman however said the allegation that he accumulated ill-gotten wealth “is completely false, unwarranted and malicious.”
He said the charges were “politically motivated.”
Lagman said Bruce was part of his campaign team in 1987 but after the elections, the latter wanted a post he was not qualified for.
The former lawmaker also denied diverting his PDAF or pork barrel allocation for projects outside the first district of Albay.
He added that he had projects outside his district that were funded by the leadership fund provided to officers of the House of Representatives. He maintained that he has no hidden assets as claimed by Bruce.