THREE National Irrigation Administration (NIA) officials in the Caraga Region are facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman over anomalous projects worth P119 million, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said on Friday.
Director Benjamin Magalong said NIA regional manager Encarnacion Soriano and former managers Modesto Membreve and Dexter Patrocinio were identified by the Joint Special Investigating Team (JSIT) as involved in the anomalous projects in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.
The three were found to have violated Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and RA 9184, or the Procurement Law.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd has ordered the creation of JSIT to probe the irregularities in the implementation of the NIA projects in Caraga.
JSIT comprised CIDG, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice, Department of Public Works and Highways and the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission.
Magalong said JSIT investigators learned that the funds for the projects in Caraga have been released in early 2012 but the projects remain unfinished up to now.
The CIDG chief said technical specialists also found that the materials used in the said projects were substandard and the prescribed specifications were not followed by the NIA officials.
Magalong said that more charges will be filed against the three officials and 50 other individuals in connection with the Agusan del Norte projects.
“Probe on the other anomalous projects of the NIA is still ongoing, as the criminal raps filed last Monday are just the beginning of series of investigations on reports of widespread anomalies in the implementation of NIA projects worth hundreds of millions, perpetrated by several key officials in the said agency,” said Magalong.