The Office of the Ombudsman found basis to file before the Sandiganbayan charges of graft and malversation through falsification of public documents against former Northern Samar Rep. Emil Ong and 24 others over alleged misuse of his P62-million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from 2007 to 2009.
Facing indictment along with Ong are Jesus Acebuche; former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Esperanza Cabral; then-Undersecretary Luwalhati Pablo; former-Assistant Secretary Mateo Montaño; then-Director Deseree Fajardo; and then-staff Joselita Enciso and Leonila Hayahay.
Also indicted were Gondelina Amata, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Chita Jalandoni, Gregoria Buenaventura, Ofelia Ordoñez, Sofia Cruz and Filipina Rodriguez, who were formerly from the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) as well as Alan Javellana, Rhodora Mendoza, Victor Roman Cacal, Maria Ninez Guañizo and Romulo Relevo, who were formerly from the National Agri-Business Corporation (Nabcor).
Roberto Solon, then-representative of the Economic and Social Cooperation for Local Development Foundation Inc. (Ecosoc); Margie Luz and Ma. Cristina Vizcarra, who were then-representatives of Gabaymasa Development Foundation Inc. (GDFI); and Rowena Adriano and Nestor Serdeña, who were then-representatives of Interactive Training Opportunity Needs Alleviations Movement Inc. (Itonami) were indicted too.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said Ong “endorsed these NGOs [non-government organizations] as the project implementers. He entered into MOA [memoranda of agreement]with the IAs [implementing agencies]and the NGOs, approved the project proposals and, thereafter, continuously sought the release of the funds in the NGOs’ favor.”
Morales added that Acebuche “assisted him in perpetrating the fraud by signing a certificate of acceptance in his behalf.”
According to a statement issued on Friday, the Ombudsman found that Ong supposedly received various sums totaling P62 million as part of his PDAF from 2007 to 2009 that was meant for livelihood capital assistance, distribution of fruit and vegetable seedlings, vermi-culture livelihood training packages, distribution of off-season vegetables, trainings and manuals for the then-lawmaker’s constituents in Northern Samar’s Second District.
But the Ombudsman found that the projects allegedly turned out to be non-existent or “ghost projects.”