• Syjuco charged with graft, malversation

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    Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the filing of malversation and graft raps against former Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco, Jr.

    The charges stemmed from Syjuco’s venture in 2000 when he obtained P4.3 million in government funds through a non-government entity called Tagipusuon to finance his poultry business identified as Chickboy Corporation.

    The P4.3 million grant was extended by the Agriculture department to NGO Tagipusuon to finance its district-wide poultry breeding and production project. Chickboy Corporation then entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the NGO for the supply of Kabir chicks.

    “The Ombudsman found several anomalies in the fund disbursement such as lack of public bidding in choosing the NGO as project-implementor. Tagipusuon had no track record and no declared experience in project implementation, while the MOA had no clear project statement, list of intended beneficiaries, project cost estimates, time schedules, as well as monitoring and inspection requirements,” the Ombudsman said in a statement.

    Aside from Syjuco, the Ombudsman also approved the filing of charges against Eduardo Lecciones, former regional director of the Department of Agriculture, Mylene Villanueva of Tagipusuon and Antonio Rojas, president of Ilonggo Chickboy Corporation.

    “The actions of respondents reveal torrid signs of a criminal activity contrived clandestinely. Syjuco used these two entities in milking out public money from the treasury,” the Ombudsman said.

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