• Ex-lawmaker, 9 others charged over misuse of P36.9M ‘pork’


    A FORMER lawmaker is facing graft  charges before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel estimated at P36.9 million from 2007 to 2008.

    Eight cases of graft, four for malversation of public funds and property, and four for malversation through falsification of public documents were filed against ex-Bukidnon Rep. Candido Pancrudo, Jr. in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

    Charged with Pancrudo were: Project Consultant Jesus Esme­ralda, Technology Resource Center (TRC) Director General Antonio Ortiz, Deputy Director General Dennis Cunanan, Group Manager Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, Chief Accountant Marivic Jover, Budget Officer Consuelo Espiritu, Group Manager Francisco Figura and representatives of the Farmer Business Development Corp. (FDC) Johanne Labay and Victorino Ujano

    Pancrudo was accused of choosing and endorsing the FDC as a “project partner” to implement eight livelihood programs for his constituents without undergoing public bidding and in the absence of any appropriation law or ordinance, which could have allowed a negotiated procurement with the non-government organization (NGO).
    Based on the graft charges that were filed against him, Pancrudo failed to monitor the implementation of the livelihood projects by the FDC.

    Eight Disbursement Vouchers (DVs) allegedly signed by Ortiz, Cuna­nan, Jover, Espiritu and Figura facilitated the release P36.9 million from Pancrudo’s PDAF to the FDC whose projects turned out to be bogus.

    The officials of the TRC are also accused of issuing Land Bank checks corresponding to the vouchers without carefully examining and verifying the accreditation and qualification of FDC and the supporting documents of its programs.

    The bail for each accused is set at P30,000 for each case.


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