Biazon, four others face malversation, graft raps over pork barrel scam
The Office of the Ombudsman has denied the motions for reconsideration of resigned Customs commissioner and former Muntinlupa Representative Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon and four former representatives over the alleged pork barrel scam, thus paving the way for the formal filing of charges against them.
In a statement on Thursday, the office said it is affirming its indictment for malversation, graft and direct bribery charges against Biazon, former representatives Rodolfo Valencia of Oriental Mindoro, Marc Douglas Cagas of Davao Del Sur, Arrel Olaño of Davao Del Norte and Arthur Pingoy Jr. of South Cotabato.
Earlier, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has said the filing of charges against Biazon is “another argument against the criticisms lodged against the Ombudsman that there is selective justice.”
Biazon is an ally of President Benigno Aquino III in the Liberal Party. He resigned as Customs commissioner in 2013 after the Department of Justice included him in the pork barrel scam complaint.
Also indicted for malversation and graft are former Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chair Zenaida Ducut and accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Ducut, a former Pampanga representative and ally of former Pres. Gloria Arroyo, is alleged to be the contact of Napoles to lawmakers in the House of Representatives for the alleged scheme of pilfering lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks. An appointee of Arroyo to the ERC in 2008, Ducut was only replaced in 2015.
Napoles was also indicted for corruption of public officials for using her JLN Corp. as a front for the alleged scam.
They form part of the second batch of PDAF scam complaints lodged before the Ombudsman.
In its indictment, the Ombudsman said Biazon in 2007 endorsed P3 million of his PDAF to the Napoles foundation Philippine Social Foundation Inc. (PSDFI) through TRC.
Biazon also allegedly received P1.95 million kickbacks from his alleged agent Ducut, according to the financial records of principal whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Valencia meanwhile allegedly coursed his P7 million PDAF from 2007 to 2009 to Napoles’ Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation (Mamfi) through TRC and Nabcor. He allegedly got P2.4-million kickbacks from his PDAF project in 2008 through his alleged agent Celia Cuasay wih payoffs taking place at the JLN office.
Cagas allegedly coursed through his P11 million PDAF to Napoles’ Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation (SDPFFI) and People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation (POPDFI) through TRC and Nabcor. He got P5.5 million kickbacks from 2007 to 2009 through Ducut who would allegedly claim the kickbacks at the JLN office or through fund transfer using her bank account.
Olaño, meanwhile, is alleged to have received P3.175 million kickbacks from Napoles in his alleged misuse of P7.97 million PDAF.
Pingoy allegedly coursed his P20.91 million PDAF to Napoles’ PSDFI and SDPFFI through Nabcor and TRC to receive kickbacks worth P7.055 million from 2007 to 2008. Ducut allegedly acted as his agent in receiving the kickbacks from Napoles. CDG
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