Lawmaker sacks chief of staff in pork barrel racket
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Rep. Lilia Macrohon-Nuño has sacked her chief of staff, Ruth Allen Ruste, for alleged involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
Nuño said she asked Ruste to resign after her office was dragged into the controversy.
“Ruste is no longer connected with my office. She resigned effective May 1,” Nuño told the Inquirer.
Ruste served as chief of staff to three former representatives, including Erico Basilio Fabian who has been linked to the PDAF scam. Fabian’s name is on the list of lawmakers who allegedly allowed Janet Lim-Napoles to use their PDAF.
City agriculturist Diosdado Palacat earlier said Ruste, as Fabian’s chief of staff, coordinated with his office for the delivery of worms and the implementation of free training under the Livelihood Enhancement on Organic Training and Vermiculture Technology in 2012.
Palacat said the 2,000 farmer-trainees went home with bags of worms worth about P700 a kilo.
The farmers were described as beneficiaries of the P17 million that Fabian gave to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), according to a report by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
The DBM report said Fabian released the amount to the NCMF in three tranches: P6 million on Sept. 7, 2012, another P5 million on the same day and P6 million on April 23, 2012.
NCMF Director Mehol Sadain confirmed to the Inquirer that the group received the funds from Fabian.—Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
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