North Cotabato solon faces graft raps
An incumbent lawmaker is facing graft and malversation charges for allegedly misappropriating P18.6 million in government funds in 2008.
Acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro ordered the filing of criminal charges against North Cotabato Representative Jesus Sacdalan in connection with the release of funds for fuel purchases when he was the province’s governor.
In a statement, Casimiro said that based on records, Sacdalan approved the release of the 2008 calamity fund to pay for fuel used in the rehabilitation of the San Vicente-Bulcanon Road in Makilala and the Nicaan-Banisilan Road in Alamada.
But according to Milagros Casis, the province’s former district engineer, the amount released was much higher than what was necessary to finish the road projects.
Casis alleged that Sacdalan used his authority as governor to order her to falsify the release of the amount. She alleged that Sacdalan told her to revise the program of works for the road projects in order to hide the irregularities in the fuel purchases.
In one instance, she alleged that 134,438.72 liters of fuel was supposedly bought from a Midsayap gas station that could only store 16,000 liters.
She said that when she refused to follow Sacdalan’s scheme, the governor had her transferred. She further alleged that the then governor was able to direct her replacement to complete the liquidation of funds and reflect the figures he dictated.
The amount that Sacdalan ordered released for Double V Petron gas station was P12 million, while that for the Shell station was P6.6 million, Casis alleged.
She also alleged that Sacdalan paid for fuel that the provincial government had not yet received.
She added that the calamity fund should have been spent for aid, relief or rehabilitation activities for calamity-stricken communities.
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