A former Bukidnon congressman is facing more charges for the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) amounting to P48 million.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has ordered the filing of eight counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, four counts of malversation and another four counts of malversation thru falsification of public documents against ex-Bukidnon Rep. Candido Pancrudo Jr. before the Sandiganbayan.
The case was filed after the Ombudsman found out that the Congressman funneled his 2007 PDAF to ghost projects.
Records showed that in November 2007 to June 2008, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P49.2 million as part of the lawmaker’s PDAF.
It was found out that the funds were channeled through the Technology Resource Center (TRC) and the National AgriBusiness Corporation (NABCOR) as implementing agencies, with Farmerbusiness Development Corporation (FDC) and Uswag Pilipinas Foundation Incorporated (UPFI) as non-government organization (NGO) partners.
Pancrudo alleged that his P49.2 million PDAF was used to fund the training and livelihood seminars for his constituents in the first district of Bukidnon.
However, a report from the Commission on Audit said there was no proofs of such training sessions claimed by the respondent.
“There is no evidence that the funds were used to finance training and livelihood seminars conducted, or to the purchase the training kits,” the Ombudsman quoted a CoA report.
The Ombudsman also found out that alleged recipients denied receiving any livelihood training kits.
Other violations were also observed such as lack of public bidding in the NGO-selection process; absence of liquidation of public funds; and unusual accommodation in the examination, processing and approval of PDAF releases to the NGOs all completed in one day.
According to Ombudsman Morales, “these repeated, illegal transfers of public funds to FDC’s control, purportedly for projects which did not exist, and just as repeated irregular disbursements, represent quantifiable pecuniary losses to the government.”
The Ombudsman also filed charges against Jesus Esmeralda, Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, Marivic Jover, Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, Francisco Figura, Johanne Edward Labar and Aileen Carrasco.
Earlier in March 2016, Pancrudo was also charged with two counts of violations of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019, malversation, and malversation through falsification for the unlawful disbursement of his 2008 PDAF allocation of P8.2 million. Of the amount, P7,954,000.00 was channelled by NABCOR to UPFI for the implementation of the livelihood training programs of Pancrudo.