THE Office of the Ombudsman has found basis to file at the Sandiganbayan charges of graft, malversation, and malversation through falsification against Rep. Vincent Crisologo of Quezon City and several other individuals in connection with his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel allocation in 2009.
Also facing indictment are former Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, then-Undersecretaries Mateo Montaño and Lualhati Pablo, then-Chief Accountant Leonila Hayahay, then-Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera, and then-Assistant Director Pacita Sarino.
Cenon Mayor, who was then-president of the non-government organization (NGO) Kaloocan Assistance Council, Inc. (KACI), also faces indictment.
Crisologo said that he would file a motion for reconsideration.
“And the reason why there is an implementing agency is because we as congressm[e]n do not have the facilities to implement,” he said in part in an interview on Thursday.
“We did not hold any money so where is the graft and corruption there?” Crisologo added in part.
According to a statement on Thursday, the Ombudsman discovered that he supposedly requested the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the release of P8 million in 2009.
The money was for the implementation of the Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS) program with the DSWD as implementing agency.
According to the statement, Crisologo allegedly “specifically requested KACI as NGO-partner for the CIDSS project consisting of medical/hospitalization assistance, transportation, calamity, death, burial, educational expenses, small-scale livelihood, socio-cultural expenses, small-scale infrastructure assistance and values training.”
Supposed beneficiaries denied receiving burial or financial assistance and “[r]epresentatives 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,” according to the statement.