Ex-Cotabato congressman found guilty of graft
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has found former Cotabato Rep. Gregorio Tocmo Ipong guilty of graft and malversation for the irregular use of his P9.6 million priority development assistance fund (PDAF) in 2007.
In a Sept. 11 decision, the antigraft court sentenced Ipong to up to 10 years in prison for graft and up to 18 years, eight months and one day for malversation. He was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
Also convicted were Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) deputy director general Dennis Cunanan and chief accountant Marivic Jover.
The three were also ordered to pay a P9.6 million fine. Ipong’s case stemmed from his endorsement of Aaron Foundation Philippines Inc. (AFPI) to implement livelihood projects in his district without public bidding.
AFPI was also found unqualified to undertake the projects. Ipong also conspired with TLRC for the release of his PDAF for projects later found to be “nonexistent.” —Patricia Denise M. Chiu
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