Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has ordered the dismissal from service and perpetual disqualification from holding public office of former Masbate Representative and now Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete in connection with the alleged anomalous use of her Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel allocation from 2007 to 2009 totaling P112.29 million.
The Office of the Ombudsman found Lanete administratively liable for grave misconduct and serious dishonesty as well as for committing conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
“According to Ombudsman Morales, the strong evidence presented during administrative adjudication remained unrebutted,” the office said in a statement.
The following were also ordered dismissed from service: Technology Resource Center (TRC) executives Dennis Cunanan, Marivic Jover, and Consuelo Lilian Espiritu; National Agri-Business Corporation (Nabcor) official Victor Roman Cacal, and National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) representatives Gondelina Amata, Chita Jalandoni, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Ofelia Ordoñez, Sofia Cruz, Filipina Rodriguez, and Gregoria Buenaventura.
In February, the office filed plunder and graft charges against Lanete and several others before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the PDAF scam wherein the Masbate official allegedly received kickbacks totaling P108.405 million from 2004 to 2010 by coursing her PDAF allocation to non-governmental organizations supposedly run by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
“Lanete’s PDAF from 2007 to 2009 were issued through 11 Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) with the TRC, NLDC and Nabcor as implementing agencies, and released to Napoles-NGOs,” the office said.
The SARO, solely issued by DBM, is a document that authorizes implementing agencies (IAs) to bid out projects.
A SARO needs to be obligated by the DBM before issuing a notice of cash allocation (NCA), which in turn, authorizes the release of the fund for the projects.
“Investigation disclosed that the PDAF was never used for the intended agricultural and livelihood projects as the documents submitted such as disbursement vouchers, progress and accomplishment reports, fund utilization, inspection and delivery reports, and certificates of acceptance were all fabricated,” the office closed.