Ex-Eastern Samar solon formally charged over PDAF scam
Former Eastern Samar Rep. Teodulo “Doloy” Coquilla was formally charged with two counts of malversation and graft over his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor filed two counts of violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and two counts of malversation against Coquilla and six others for the anomalous use of Coquilla’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for ghost projects in 2008.
Included as Coquilla’s co-accused are National Agri-Business Corporation (NABCOR) officials Alan Javellana, Encarnita-Cristina Munsod, Ma. Julie Villaralvo-Johnson and Romulo Relevo, as well as Gabaymasa Development Foundation Inc. officials Margie Luz and Ma. Cristina Vizcarra.
They were charged with two counts of graft for allegedly causing undue injury to government in the grant of Coquilla’s P4.365 million and P485,000 PDAF to Gabaymasa in 2008.
Coquilla allegedly endorsed his PDAF to Gabaymasa as project partner without public bidding and even though the NGO was unqualified and unaccredited to undertake the projects.
The respondents were also accused of malversation under the Revised Penal Code for misappropriating Coquilla’s PDAF in disregard of the appropriation law and its implementing rules.
Prosecutors set the bail amount at P30,000 for each count of graft and P40,000 for each malversation count.
Ombudsman investigation noted the following procurement violations: suppliers were unregistered business entities, with non-existent addresses; supplier of seedlings is a garden shop engaged in the selling of rocks, pebbles, grass and landscaping services; supplier for the instructional materials is located in a residential area and sells car batteries and wheel interiors.
The Commission on Audit said “no fruit seedlings or instructional materials (were) distributed to beneficiaries” and “at the time material to the charges, the suppliers did not possess the required accreditation to transact” because it had no track record in project implementation.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales denied Coquilla’s defense that his signatures were forged.
“As the legislator responsible for the control and/or disposition of funds, drawn from his PDAF allocations, (Coquilla) is an accountable officer,” Morales said. JE
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