Sandiganbayan acquits former solon Thomas Dumpit Jr of graft
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan has acquitted former La Union Rep. Thomas De Lara Dumpit Jr. of graft and malversation raps in connection with the P14.55 million worth of allocations given to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs).
In the decision dated last November 8, the First Division said that the demurrer to evidence filed by Dumpit was granted because the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence.
Foundation and PDAF
Dumpit was accused of allotting P13.09 million and P1.455 million to Kasangga sa Magandang Bukas Foundation, Inc. (KMBFI) on two occasions back in 2008, sourcing from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
However, the anti-graft court noted that there was no evidence showing that Dumpit chose KMBFI, and also that the accused was not a signatory in the memorandum of agreement between the NGO and National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor).
“No evidence was likewise presented showing that he had a palpably and patently fraudulent and dishonest purpose showing evident bad faith. Further, he did not act with gross inexcusable negligence in the release of the fund to KMBFI or the implementation of the project,” the decision written by Associate Justice Geraldine Faith Econg said.
Sandiganbayan also noted that Dumpit’s only involvement in the case was letters sent to then-House speaker Prospero Nograles and former Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap — which were both deemed done as part of his official duty as La Union representative.
“He merely requested that a portion of his PDAF be transferred to Nabcor — then a legitimate functioning government-owned and controlled corporation — for implementation,” the court noted.
“Contrary to the other PDAF cases, where the accused therein executed written endorsements identifying the NGOs to which the PDAF funds will be released to, there was no positive and conclusive evidence presented in the case at bar that accused Dumpit unilaterally chose KMBFI,” it added.
Dumpit has other PDAF cases pending at the Sandiganbayan — some including a certain Godofredo Roque, an incorporator of two NGOs identified as Kabuhayan at Kalusugang Alay sa Masa Foundation (KKAMFI) and Aaron Foundation Philippines Inc. (AFPI).
Roque was referred to as the male version of pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, for supposedly implementing schemes where lawmakers allocate pork barrel funds to non-existent NGOs. However, unlike Roque, Napoles has already been found guilty in a plunder case.
Just last October 18, the same division acquitted Roque and fellow incorporator Morrys Ang in another case involving Dumpit, for failure of the prosecution to present convincing evidence.
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