Ombudsman finds 9 liable over PDAF

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The Office of the Ombudsman has found several former officials of the National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) and National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC) administratively liable in connection with the alleged misuse of former Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza’s P27.5 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations for 2008 to 2009.

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In a statement on Monday, the office found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, former Nabcor officials Victor Roman Cacal and Romulo Relevo; as well as former NLDC officials Gondelina Amata, Chita Jalandoni, Emmanuel Sevidal, Ofelia Ordoñez, Filipina Rodriguez, Sofia Cruz and Gregoria Buenaventura.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has directed the Office of the Executive Secretary to implement a dismissal order against Cacal, Relevo, Amata, Jalandoni, Sevidal, Ordoñez, Rodriguez, Cruz and Buenaventura.

The office also ordered for their perpetual disqualification for re-employment in the government service and the cancellation of eligibility and forfeiture of retirement benefits.

The penalty of dismissal is convertible to a fine in case the respondent is no longer in government service.
In a 54-page decision, the Ombudsman said that “respondents’ dedication and outstanding service to the government should not be cited as a circumstance that deserves public gratitude considering that the level of service which is expected from every public servant is no less that exemplary service. Public office is a public trust and public officers must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.”

Plaza’s P27.5-million PDAF was allegedly channeled through two non-government organizations — Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka and the Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. — which were allegedly ran by Janet Lim-Napoles.

The PDAF was supposedly for livelihood and agricultural production kits but the Ombudsman found on field validation that the packages were allegedly not received by the intended beneficiaries.

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