What went before: 12 officials’ lifetime ban in gov’t service
In December 2015, the Office of the Ombudsman meted out a lifetime ban from joining government service to 12 officials of three state-owned firms for their alleged complicity in the P10-billion pork barrel racket.
The sacked public officials were administratively liable for the fraudulent use of P54 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allotments of then Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa from 2007 to 2009, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said in a statement.
Among those dismissed from service were former director general Dennis Cunanan, chief accountant Marivic Jover and budget officer Consuelo Lilian Espiritu of the Technology Resource Center (TRC), and paralegal officer Victor Roman Cacal of the now defunct National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor).
They were found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Dangwa is among the lawmakers facing graft, malversation and direct bribery charges for allegedly siphoning off their pork barrel allotments to the network of dubious nongovernment organizations of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged scam mastermind.
Nabcor, which is under the Department of Agriculture, was the favored implementing agency of four senators and 79 representatives who coursed a total of P1.7 billion of their pork barrel allocations from 2007 to 2009, according to documents submitted by Cacal and then Nabcor financial management services chief Rhodora Mendoza.
Cunanan, who was a provisional state witness in the pork barrel scam, said at least P600 million in pork allocations of various legislators passed through the TRC from 2007 to early 2009.
In October 2014, Cunanan, Jover, Cacal, Mendoza and Nabcor bookkeeper Maria Ninez Guañizo were among the 23 government officials and staff included in the second batch of criminal cases filed by the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the PDAF misuse. Inquirer Research