Ombudsman approves filing of another complaint vs Janet Napoles
The Office of the Ombudsman has approved the filing of another criminal complaint against Janet Lim-Napoles and officials of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit XIII (DA RFU) in Butuan City for the questionable procurement of fertilizers worth P5 million.
In a statement issued by the Ombudsman on Monday, it said Napoles, DA Assistant Regional Director Edgardo Dahino, Chief Administrative Officer Jessica Da-an, Administrative Officer Merylinda Santos, and Accountant III Gerry Leop; as well as private respondents Evelyn De Leon and Rodel Pontillas, both from the Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc. (PSDFI) will face charges for violation of the Anti-Graft Law and Malversation of Public Funds.
The Ombudsman said that based on an investigation, the DA RFU Caraga entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the municipality and the PSDFI for the procurement of fertilizers in May 2004.
The project, however, had no appropriation as the cited source of funding, Republic Act (RA) No. 9162 or the General Appropriations Act of 2002, was effective only until December 2003. The agreement was signed in 2004.
DA officials released the entire fund to PSDFI as the project implementer without complying with a Commission on Audit (COA) circular requiring funds to be released in three tranches.
Records also show that no fertilizers were distributed in the municipality based on certifications issued by the municipal agriculturist.
A resolution dated July 11 indicted Napoles “for conspiring with public respondents for ordering the reactivation of the PSDFI and entering into the transaction with the DA RFU Caraga and the municipality using PSDFI as conduit for the project.”
Napoles allegedly “allowed the issuance of fake official receipts to make it appear that the PSDFI received the public funds; by issuing a report of disbursement using her employee, respondent de Leon, to make it appear that the PSDFI used the P5 million in the acquisition of fertilizers, and by purchasing fake liquid fertilizers for P100 per 300ml/bottle and selling them to DA RFU Caraga at P800 per 300ml/bottle.” — Kristine Anne Macasiray/INQUIRER.net intern /ee
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