Ex-Malabon-Navotas solon to face raps over ‘pork’ scam
Former Malabon-Navotas lone district Representative Alvin Sandoval is set to face charges before the Sandiganbayan for graft and malversation over his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
In a statement on Thursday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said she has denied the respondents’ motions for reconsideration and affirmed the filing of three counts of graft and three counts of malversation against Sandoval; Technology Resource Center (TRC) officials Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, Marivic Jover and Consuelo Espiritu; Dr. Rodolfo A. Ignacio Sr. Foundation, Inc (DRAISFI) Director Rolleo Ignacio; Pangkabuhayan Foundation, Inc. (PFI) President Petronila Balmaceda and Secretary Fernando Balmaceda; and Jacinto Caster Borja Foundation, Inc.(JCBFI) President Roberto Agana.
Sandoval was accused of earning kickbacks from and by misappropriating his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) worth P30 million from 2007 to 2009 for projects which turned out to be nonexistent.
In finding probable cause, Morales said that Sandoval, by reason of his office, exercises control and custody over his PDAF, allowing him “whether directly or through his or her staff, to participate in the release of the subject funds and in the implementation of PDAF projects.”
In her July 2015 resolution finding probable cause, Morales said Sandoval’s PDAF was unlawfully channeled to DRAISFI, PFI and JCBFI using TRC as an implementing agency.
DRAISFI and PFI received P5 million each, while JCBFI received P20 million
The Ombudsman investigation showed that the projects supposedly funded by Sandoval’s PDAF through the bogus foundations were nonexistent.
The barangay (village) captains, including city agriculturists of the affected district, testified that there was no conduct of livelihood skills trainings in their jurisdictions as well as no receipt of any livelihood and agricultural materials/kits funded by Sandoval’s PDAF.
The local officials also said the list of beneficiaries was spurious.
The Ombudsman noted that the claims for disbursements/payments were supported with falsified documents and the suppliers named were also nonexistent or had no business permits.
Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act prohibits officials from causing any undue injury to any party, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.
The Revised Penal Code meanwhile penalizes malversation, an act by a public official of misappropriating, through abandonment or negligence, public funds or an act of permitting any other person to take such public funds or property, wholly or partially.
Sandoval is the latest of lawmakers to be tried after being indicted by the Ombudsman for their involvement in the alleged scheme of using their pork barrel funds in ghost projects for kickbacks.
The NGOs used by Sandoval were outside the web of spurious foundations created by Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of a separate pork barrel scam, which resulted in the trial for plunder of Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Jose
Jinggoy” Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, and former representatives Rizalina Seachon Lañete and Edgar Valdez.
The Sandiganbayan is also hearing the malversation cases against former Cagayan de Oro representative Constantino Jaraula, former Benguet representative Samuel Dangwa, and former Agusan Del Sur representative Rodolfo Plaza for their involvement in the supposed Napoles scam.
Only Revilla and Estrada were denied bail by the Sandiganbayan and are detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center, while Enrile was allowed to post bail by the Supreme Court for humanitarian reasons. The court also granted Valdez’s and Lanete’s bail petition for failure of the prosecution to prove that the two received at least P50 million in kickbacks from Napoles. IDL
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