Ex-Davao del Norte solon charged with graft over pork barrel scam
Former Davao del Norte Rep. Arrel Olaño was formally charged before the Sandiganbayan on Thursday for malversation, graft, and direct bribery over his alleged involvement in the Janet Lim-Napoles pork barrel scam.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor filed three counts of graft, three counts of malversation, and one count of direct bribery against Olaño for coursing some P8 million of his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to the bogus foundations of accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
According to the malversation charge, Olaño was accused of misappropriating through abandonment or negligence his pork barrel funds to Napoles’ spurious foundations in 2007: P2 million to Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic and Development Foundation (CARED) and P6.5 million to Philippine Social Development Foundation (PSDFI).
He was also charged with graft for causing undue injury to government in coursing his pork barrel funds to the spurious foundations through evident bad faith, manifest partiality, and gross inexcusable negligence.
Additionally, he was charged with direct bribery for allegedly receiving P3.175 million from Napoles in exchange for his endorsement of Napoles’ nongovernment organizations to receive his pork barrel funds.
The prosecutors said Olaño endorsed the foundations to the agencies supposed to implement the project without conducting a public bidding.
Olaño also endorsed the foundations even though these were not accredited or qualified to implement the projects.
The PDAF-funded projects turned out to be fictitious or non-existent, the prosecution said.
Also charged with Olaño were Napoles and her employees Mylene Encarnacion, Evelyn De Leon, and Eulogio Rodriguez for preparing the acceptance and delivery reports, disbursement reports, project proposal, and other liquidation documents to “conceal the fictitious nature of the transaction,” the prosecution said.
The prosecution also charged the following officials of the implementing agencies Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) for failing to verify the qualifications of the bogus foundations: director general Antonio Ortiz, deputy director general Dennis Cunanan, group manager Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, group manager Francisco Figura, budget officer Consuelo Espiritu, chief accountant Marivic Jover, and internal auditor V and division chief Maurine Dimaranan.
For expediting the issuance of the special allotment release orders to release Olaño’s PDAF, budget undersecretary Mario Relampagos was also charged along with his staff Rosario Nuñez, Marilou Bare, and Lalaine Paule.
According to the charge sheet, the bail is set at P30,000 for each count of graft, P40,000 for each count of malversation, and P20,000 for each count of direct bribery.
Olaño is the third to be formally charged before the Sandiganbayan in the second batch of lawmakers sued before the Ombudsman for their alleged involvement in the scheme of diverting their PDAF to ghost projects for kickbacks.
The pork charges were already filed before the Sandiganbayan against former Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rodolfo Valencia and former Davao Del Sur Rep. Marc Douglas Cagas IV. JE
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