Ex-Eastern Samar lawmaker, 6 others face graft raps

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The Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft and malversation charges before the Sandiganbayan against former Eastern Samar Rep. Teodulo Coquilla and six others over alleged misappropriation of his P4.85 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in 2008.

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Named respondents with Coquilla were former National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor) president Alan Javellana, former human resources and administrative manager Encarnita Cristina Munsod, then-chief accountant Ma. Julie Villaralvo-Johnson and former general services unit head Romulo Relevo.

Also charged were Margie Luz and Ma. Cristina Vizcarra from Gabaymasa Development Foundation Inc. (Gabaymasa).

The Ombudsman alleged that the respondents, “conspiring with one another and with private individuals” Luz and Vizcarra, “cause[d]undue injury to the government” and/or gave “unwarranted benefits and advantage to said private individuals in the amount of at least” P4.85 million in total.

Coquilla allegedly “unilaterally chose and indorsed” the supposedly “unaccredited and unqualified” non-government organization Gabaymasa as “project partner” in the implementation of PDAF-funded livelihood projects in his legislative district.

Javellana and Luz reportedly entered into a Memorandum of Agreement on the implementation of the projects.

Further, two checks for the amount for payment were allegedly received by Luz and Vizcarra from Nabcor.

The Ombudsman recommended P140,000 bail each for the respondents’ provisional liberty.

REINA TOLENTINO

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