• Mayor denies getting PDAF projects

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    A town mayor whose municipality supposedly benefited from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of former Rep. Edgar Valdez, of the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC), denied receiving agricultural packages.

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    The prosecution on Tuesday called to the witness stand three Surigao del Norte officials and the first was Mayor Dominador Esma of Alegria, an agricultural town in the said province, who said he could not recognize anyone when shown the list of supposed recipients.

    “Wala akong kilalang mga farmers diyan Ma’m [I do not know any farmers there, Ma’m],” he told the prosecutor.

    The prosecution next showed him a delivery report, which stated that Esma received 155 sets of agricultural production packages. However, he said, “That’s not my signature, Ma’m.”

    “We haven’t received that 155 agricultural packages, Ma’m,” Esma further said.

    He likewise denied that it was his signature affixed on a certificate of acceptance.

    Esma further testified that upon verification with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), they have not found one farmer on the list. He told the court that he also asked his agriculturist if they received the said packages and the reply to him was in the negative.

    Esma testified before the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division which is hearing the separate bail petitions of Valdez and businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

    Valdez is detained in a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig over a plunder charge lodged against him before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the pork barrel scam.

    He allegedly received kickbacks totaling P57.787 million from 2004 to 2010 by pouring his PDAF to the Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Inc. (MAMFI), Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (SDPFFI), and the Philippine Social Development Foundation Incorporated (PSDFI) that were NGOs allegedly run by Napoles, who is allegedly the brains behind the PDAF or pork barrel scam.

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