Ombudsman files graft charges vs Napoles, Revilla, Estrada, Enrile
MANILA, Philippines – The Ombudsman on Monday has formally filed graft charges against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. over their involvement in the pork barrel scam.
The charges were filed before the Sandiganbayan just days after the Ombudsman filed plunder charges against them on Friday.
However, the cases have yet to be docketed after it was filed late afternoon.
The Ombudsman said it found probable cause to indict Revilla with one count of plunder and 16 counts of graft; Enrile with one count of plunder and 15 counts of graft; and Estrada with one count of plunder and 11 counts of graft.
The anti-corruption agency said the senators’ following Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) were “never used for the intended projects” – Revilla with P517 million PDAF, Enrile with P345 million PDAF, and Estrada with P278 million PDAF
Also charged is alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, whose bogus non-government organizations were allegedly used as dummy fronts to pocket billions of public funds through ghost projects.
Mario Relampagos, Undersecretary for Operations in the Department of Budget and Management, was also charged with graft.
The other accused in the graft case are:
Richard Cambe – former Director III in Office of Senator Revilla
Antonio Ortiz – former Director General, Technology Resource Center (TRC)
Dennis Cunanan – Director General-on leave, TRC
Francisco Figura – Group manager, TRC
Ma. Rosalinda Lacsamana – Group manager, TRC
Marivic Jover – Chief accountant, TRC
John Raymund De Asis
De Asis is Napoles’ long-time employee in her corporation used for the scam.
The Ombudsman has also filed plunder charges against Napoles, the senators, Cambe, De Asis, and the following personalities: Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, Enrile’s former chief of staff; Pauline Labayen, Estrada’s former deputy chief of staff; and Ronald John Lim, Napoles’ nephew.
The pork barrel in the form of PDAF has been seen as a tool for political patronage and corruption.
The practice of allotting billions of public funds to lawmakers for them to ease poverty in their constituencies was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional at the height of the investigation on the scam.
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