The Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft and malversation charges at the Sandiganbayan against former Ilocos Sur Rep. Salacnib Baterina and several others in connection with the alleged anomalous use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel allocation totaling P33.9 million in 2007.
Named respondents in all three counts of graft and three counts of malversation were Baterina, former
Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) Director General Antonio Ortiz, former Deputy Director General Dennis Cunanan, former Corporate Service Group Manager Francisco Figura, former Chief Accountant Marivic Jover, former Internal Auditor V Maurine Dimaranan, Janet Lim-Napoles and Godofredo Roque.
Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, then the Group Manager of TLRC’s Technology and Livelihood Information Dissemination Services Group, Carlos Soriano and France Mercado face two counts of graft and two counts of malversation.
Former Energy Regulatory Commission Chairperson Zenaida Cruz-Ducut, Evelyn De Leon, former TLRC Sales and Promotion Supervisor IV Belina Concepcion as well as Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and DBM employees Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule, and Marilou Bare each face one count of graft and one count of malversation.
The Ombudsman said Baterina “unilaterally chose and indorsed” the supposedly “unaccredited and unqualified” non-government organizations Kaagapay Magpakailanman Foundation, Inc. (KMFI) and Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI) as project partners in providing PDAF-funded livelihood projects in Ilocos Sur’s first district in violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act.
KMFI was allegedly “operated and/or controlled by Napoles, Roque, Soriano, and Mercado” while PSDFI was also operated and controlled by Napoles and De Leon.
Based on the charge sheets, P24.3 million was coursed through KMFI while P9.6 million was coursed through PSDFI.
The Ombudsman accused the former government officials of allowing KMFI and PSDFI “to divert the PDAF-drawn public funds to Napoles’ control instead of implementing the PDAF-funded projects which turned out to be non-existent; while Napoles and/or her cohorts caused/participated in the preparation and signing of the acceptance and delivery reports, disbursement reports, project proposals, and other liquidation documents to conceal the fictitious nature of the transaction to the damage and prejudice of the Republic of the Philippines.”
The Ombudsman also filed a direct bribery case against Baterina and Ducut. It alleged that Baterina received P3 million from Napoles.
When the Ombudsman ordered the filing of the graft and malversation charges, former Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. was included in for allegedly issuing Sub-Allotment Release Orders and Notices of Cash Allotment without the required project profile and indorsement from implementing agencies (IAs).
But the Ombudsman granted his motion for reconsideration in January, thus clearing Andaya, who is now a congressional representative of Camarines Sur.