Ex-lawmaker faces pork raps

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Former Rep. Arthur Pingoy Jr. of South Cotabato and several others were charged with graft and malversation at the Sandiganbayan in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

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The Office of the Ombudsman also indicted Janet Lim-Napoles; former Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Zenaida Ducut, Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, and former Department of Budget employees Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule and Marilou Bare; former Technology Resource Center (TRC) Director General Antonio Ortiz, former TRC Deputy Director General Dennis Cunanan, and former TRC employees Francisco Figura and Marivic Jover.

Included in the charge sheet were former National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) President Alan Javellana, former Nabcor Administrative and Finance Department Vice President Rhodora Mendoza, former Nabcor employees Maria Ninez Guanizo and Victor Cacal, Evelyn De Leon, former President of the Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI), and private individuals Noel Macha, John Raymund De Asis, and John Bernardo.

The Ombudsman alleged that the respondents caused undue injury to the government in the amount of P20.9 million from 2007 to 2009.

Based on the charge sheets, Pingoy allegedly indorsed PSDFI and the Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (SDPFFI) to the implementing agencies TRC and Nabcor, respectively, as “project-partner” in providing livelihood projects in South Cotabato’s second district funded by his PDAF “in disregard of the appropriation law and its implementing rules, and/or without the benefit of public bidding as required under Republic Act No. 9184 and its implementing rules and regulations.”

The Ombudsman said that PSDFI and SDPFFI, which were non-government organizations (NGOs) allegedly run by Napoles, were “unaccredited and unqualified” to undertake the projects.

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