Ombudsman files graft charges anew vs ex-North Cotabato solon
Former North Cotabato representative and dismissed vice governor Gregorio Ipong was charged anew with a second set of charges related to pork barrel scam, this time involving the alleged misuse of his P4.9 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
According to the charge information, Ipong was charged by prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman of one count each of graft and malversation in the anomalous use of his P4.9 million PDAF for ghost projects to gain kickbacks in 2007.
Ipong was accused of graft or violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for causing undue injury to government and giving unwarranted benefits to the bogus foundation Aaron Foundation Philippines Inc. (AFPI).
The former lawmaker was accused of endorsing without public bidding the bogus NGO as “project partner” of the defunct implementing agency Technology Resource Center (TRC) to implement Ipong’s PDAF projects, which ended up being non-existent.
Ipong also endorsed the NGO even though it was unqualified and unaccredited to implement the projects, the Ombudsman prosecution said.
He was also accused of malversation under the Revised Penal Code for “misappropriat(ing) the PDAF-drawn public funds instead of implementing the PDAF-drawn projects.”
The prosecution recommended a P30,000 bail for the graft charge and a P40,000 bail for the malversation charge.
Ipong’s co-accused include TRC officials Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, and Marivic Jover, and AFPI President Alfredo Ronquillo.
The implementing agency officials were charged for releasing the pork barrel funds to the bogus foundation without verifying the NGO’s accreditation and qualifications.
Ipong was first charged with graft and malversation charges over the alleged misuse of his P9.6 million pork barrel fund in 2007.
Ipong was earlier dismissed by the Ombudsman in 2016 in connection with his pork barrel scam indictment. JPV