Ex-budget secretary Andaya charged over Napoles pork barrel scam
Former budget secretary and now Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. and a former congressman have been charged with graft and malversation over the alleged Janet Lim-Napoles pork barrel scam.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the filing of graft, malversation, and direct bribery charges against former Ilocos Sur Rep. Salacnib Baterina over the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) in 2007.
Baterina faces three counts of malversation, three counts of violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and one count of direct bribery.
Andaya as former budget secretary was indicted with graft and malversation for his issuance of the sub-allotment release orders and notice of cash allotment despite the absence of the required project profiles and endorsements from the implementing agencies in violation of the Department of Budget and Management National Budget Circular No. 476.
The Ombudsman said Andaya’s release of such documents “made the funds easily accessible to the Technological Livelihood Research Center (TLRC) and the bogus NGOs.”
According to the Ombudsman, the DBM under Andaya released P35 million of Baterina’s PDAF for livelihood and farm input projects from January to February 2007.
Baterina endorsed the bogus NGOs Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc. and the Kaagapay Magpakailanman Foundation Inc. as implementors, and the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center as a conduit.
Principal whistleblower Benhur Luy said that Baterina received P7.5 million in kickbacks and that it was former Pampanga Rep. and former Energy Regulatory Commissioner Zenaida Ducut who acted as an agent between Baterina and Napoles.
“Ducut was tasked by Napoles to look for lawmakers willing to deal with Napoles in connection with the PDAF scheme,” the Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman’s field investigation showed that Baterina’s pork barrel projects turned out to be nonexistent.
The Ombudsman cited the Commission on Audit report which noted lapses in the funds use, such as the lack of public bidding in the NGO selection process, absence of documents supporting the utilization and liquidation of public funds, and the lack of list of beneficiaries.
The municipal agriculturists also denied receiving any livelihood implements, the Ombudsman said.
In he resolution, Ombudsman Morales said “the complaints, as well as the testimonial and documentary evidence provided details which evidence the widespread misuse of the PDAF allotted to Baterina.”
Morales added that Baterina’s multi-million PDAF “was coursed through a complex scheme for the supposed livelihood projects for the 1st district which turned out to be inexistent or ghost projects.”
Also ordered charged were Napoles, Ducut, Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, Maria Rosalina Lacsamana, Marivic Jover, Francisco Figura, Maurine Dimaranan, Mario Relampagos, Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule, Marilou Bare, Evelyn De Leon, Belina Concepcion, Carlos Soriano, France Mercado and Godofredo Roque.
Ducut was charged with direct bribery, while Napoles was also charged with Corruption of Public Officials under Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code.
Roque is alleged to be the male counterpart of Napoles in the pork barrel scam.
Morales earlier said Roque was among the 42 individuals found liable for operating a ring of bogus NGOs which spent pork barrel funds in ghost projects for kickbacks. IDL