Former Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rodolfo Valencia, Janet Lim-Napoles and 10 other government officials and private individuals are facing several counts of graft and malversation charges before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.
Also named respondents in the charges filed by the Office of the Ombudsman were Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and former DBM employees Rosario Nuñez, Marilou Bare, and Lalaine Paule, and one Celia Cuasay.
Accused in the two counts of graft were former Technology Resource Center (TRC) director general Antonio Ortiz, former TRC deputy director general Dennis Cunanan as well as former TRC employees Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, Francisco Figura, and Marivic Jover.
Named respondents in one count of graft were then-National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) president Allan Javellana and its former employees Victor Cacal, Maria Ninez Guañizo, and Rhodora Mendoza.
The Ombudsman recommended P30,000 bail each for their provisional liberty in the graft cases, and P40,000 bail each in the malversation cases.
In July last year, the Ombudsman found probable cause to file charges before the Sandiganbayan against five former lawmakers, including Valencia, in connection with the PDAF scam.
Others named in the charge sheet were former Representatives Rozzano Rufino Biazon of Muntinlupa, Arrel Olaño of Davao del Norte, Marc Douglas Cagas, 4th of Davao del Sur, Arthur Pingoy Jr. of South Cotobato, and several others.
“During his term as Congressman, Valencia continuously endorsed the implementation of his PDAF-funded livelihood and agricultural projects to questionable NGOs associated with or controlled by Napoles. The PDAF was anomalously used for livelihood and agricultural projects, skills training and distribution of livelihood kits,” the Ombudsman alleged.
The funds were allegedly coursed through TRC and Nabcor and released to the non-government organization Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. (MAMFI).
Witnesses Benhur Luy, Marina Sula (who was named MAMFI president) and Merlina Suñas alleged that the supposed payoffs for the kickbacks were usually made at the JLN office in Ortigas with Cuasay, as Valencia’s representative, allegedly receiving the money.