QC lawmaker, 6 others in trouble over ‘pork’

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The Office of the Ombudsman has found basis to file charges of graft, malversation, and malversation through falsification against Quezon City Rep. Vincent Crisologo and several others in connection with the alleged questionable use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel allocation in 2009.

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Also facing indictment at the Sandiganbayan were former Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, former Undersecretaries Mateo Montaño and Lualhati Pablo, former Chief Accountant Leonila Hayahay, former Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera, and former Assistant Director Pacita Sarino.

Cenon Mayor, former president of the non-government organization (NGO) Kaloocan Assistance Council, Inc. (KACI), also faces indictment.

Crisologo said he will file a motion for reconsideration.

“The reason why there is an implementing agency is because we as congressmen do not have the facilities to implement,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “We did not hold any money so where is the graft and corruption there?”

The Ombudsman said Crisologo asked the Department of Budget and Management in 2009 for the release of P8 million for the implementation of the Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS) program with the DSWD as implementing agency.

Investigators said KACI submitted falsified receipts.

“Also, the Ombudsman obtained affidavits of alleged beneficiaries who denied receiving any burial or financial assistance and denied that the signatures appearing on the vouchers were theirs. Representatives from the
National Children’s Hospital also attested that no free medical or dental mission was conducted in October 2009, contrary to claims of the respondents,” the Office of the Ombudsman said.

It also alleged that Silver A Enterprises, KACI’s main supplier, was “not a registered business entity.”

The Ombudsman said in its resolution that “Crisologo failed to show that he exerted earnest efforts to ensure that KACI liquidated the tranches of the funds.
But Crisologo denied the allegations.

“There is no proof that I benefited from that, that I received any money or…that…financially I benefited from those transaction[s],” he said on Thursday.

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