TRC execs dismissed again over Cagases’ pork scam case
MANILA — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has again slapped three officials of the now-defunct Technology Resource Center with administrative sanctions in relation to the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam.
This time, the administrative ruling was issued in connection with the misuse of the pork barrel funds of former Davao del Sur 1st Representatives Douglas Cagas (now the province’s governor) and Marc Douglas Cagas IV (his son and successor).
Found guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service were chief accountant Marivic Jover and budget officer Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, and sales and promotion officer Belina Concepcion.
As penalty, the three were ordered dismissed, stripped of their retirement benefits, and perpetually banned from public office. The dismissal penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to one year’s salary.
The ruling arose from their alleged participation in the misuse of the Cagases’ Priority Development Assistance Fund proceeds totaling P22 million. Both legislators allegedly “used TRC as conduit of their scheme,” the Ombudsman media bureau said in a Tuesday statement.
The Ombudsman held that Governor Cagas “illegally channeled” his P16-million PDAF allocation to the Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic and Development Foundation, Inc. (CARED) and the Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI). Both non-government organizations were linked to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
The younger Cagas, meanwhile, allegedly misappropriated his P6-million PDAF allocation in 2008 through the Farmerbusiness Development Corporation (FDC).
Both legislators were accused of receiving kickbacks amounting to P9.3 million and P5.5 million, respectively, allegedly through former Energy Regulatory Commission chairperson Zenaida Ducut.
The TRC executives were formally charged in March at the Sandiganbayan as the co-accused of Napoles, Ducut and the Cagases in the criminal cases for graft, malversation, direct bribery and corruption of public officials.
Davao del Sur became a lone district after its southern half was turned into the province of Davao Occidental. The governor’s wife, Mercedes, now represents the lone district. SFM/rga