Former DA chief Alcala cleared of graft
MANILA, Philippines — Former Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala has been cleared by the Sandiganbayan of graft and malversation charges over the alleged irregular transfer of more than P6 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) during his time as the representative of Quezon province’s second district in 2007.
Despite his acquittal, the antigraft court’s First Division however found him civilly liable and ordered him to pay the P6.05 million for negligence “in the strict and improper implementation of the project funded by his PDAF.”
In its 89-page decision on March 20, the Sandiganbayan said Alcala’s release of his PDAF funds for financial assistance and livelihood projects were aboveboard since this took place from 2007 to 2010.
The PDAF was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013.
Alcala’s case involves the disbursement of more than P6 million of his PDAF to a nongovernmental organization called the Economic and Social Cooperation for Local Development Foundation, Inc. (Ecosoc).
He was accused of favoring Ecosoc for the implementation of his project, which he endorsed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.