FORMER Rep. Edgar Valdez of the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives on Wednesday asked the Office of the Ombudsman to dismiss the graft case filed against him in connection with alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.
Valdez, whose alleged kickbacks totaled P57.787 million from 2004 to 2010, was indicted with seven counts of violations of the anti-graft law.
Janet Lim-Napoles and her employee John Raymund de Asis were named co-respondents of Valdez.
In a motion for judicial determination of probable cause, Valdez said a review of his counter-affidavits would show that the allegations against him have been sufficiently addressed.
Valdez said his role in the release of his PDAF is confined to drawing a project list from the project menu under the appropriations law and making and signing a letter containing the list of projects to the House Speaker through the committee on appropriations.
He added that the signatures in memoranda of agreement (MOA), endorsement letters and other liquidation documents were forged.
Valdez argued that Benhur Luy, Napoles’ former employee, had admitted that they executed the MOA and signed the endorsement letters without his knowledge or consent.
Luy and the other pork scam witnesses have said the documents were prepared on Napoles’ instructions.
The Ombudsman’s field investigation office “failed to overcome the presumption of regularity operating in favor of the accused,” Valdez said in his petition.
“There was no reason for him to doubt the qualification of Technology and Livelihood Resource Center as an implementing agency… considering that the same appears on the official list/record of the GAA (General Appropriations Act),” Valdez said.
Citing his counter-affidavits before the Office of the Ombudsman, he maintained that he had no participation or jurisdiction over the implementation of his projects, thus he could not have committed any act that caused injury to the government or gave anyone unwarranted benefit.
“The appointment or selection of a non-government organization that will implement the projects identified by a legislator is the responsibility of the implementing agencies,” Valdez said.