The Office of the Ombudsman filed charges of graft and malversation against former La Union Rep. Thomas Dumpit Jr. and several others in connection with the alleged anomalous use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel totaling P43.65 million.
Also charged were his former Political Affairs Assistant Elsie Walican, former National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) President Gondelina Amata and former NLDC employees Ofelia Ordoñez, Filipina Rodriguez, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Gregoria Buenaventura, Sofia Cruz, Chita Jalandoni, and Evelyn Sugcang.
Former officers of the Kabuhayan at Kalusugang Alay sa Masa Foundation, Inc. (KKAMFI) — Flerida Alberto, Marilou Antonio, Godofredo Roque, Rodrigo Doria, and Maria Paz Vega and Ma. Neriza Gador — were also included in the charge sheet.
In filing the complain at the Sandiganbayan, the Ombudsman alleged that Dumpit Jr. endorsed KKAMFI to the NLDC “as project partner in implementing livelihood projects” in 18 barangays (villages) in Tubao, La Union which were funded by his PDAF.
This, the Ombudsman said, was “in disregard of the appropriation law and its implementing rules, and/or without the benefit of public bidding…and with KKAMFI being unqualified to undertake the projects.”
It added that the respondents “facilitated, processed, and approved the disbursement of the subject PDAF” as well as the issuance of checks “without conducting a due diligence audit and careful examination of the qualification of KKAMFI and the transaction’s supporting documents.”
The KKAMFI officers and staff were accused of submitting falsified documents showing project completion and full liquidation of the funds.
“By their acts, Dumpit Jr. and the accused [then-]NLDC officials allowed above-named private individuals to take possession and misappropriate PDAF-drawn public funds for non-existent projects, to the damage and prejudice of the Republic of the Philippines in the afore-stated amount,” the Ombudsman said.
A P30,000 bail was recommended for each of the respondents in each graft case. It recommended P40,000 bail for each of the malversation cases. REINA TOLENTINO