Ex-partylist solon faces plunder raps over ‘pork’
MANILA, Philippines–The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to indict a former party-list representative for plunder over the pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles.
In a statement on Friday, the Ombudsman said it would file plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan against Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) Representative Edgar Valdez for the alleged misuse of at least P95 million in his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF).
Valdez completed the line-up of indicted lawmakers who were part of the first batch of PDAF-related cases filed by the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation before the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman had found probable cause to charge the following with plunder and malversation — Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr., and former Masbate Representative Rizalina Seachon-Lañete, Benguet Representative Samuel Dangwa, Agusan Del Sur Representative Rodolfo Plaza and Cagayan De Oro Representative Constantino Jaraula.
As of now, only Estrada, Enrile and Revilla are detained as they face charges they pocketed millions of pesos from their PDAF allocation.
Valdez is accused of funneling his PDAF to ghost projects for kickbacks. The implementing agencies and the Napoles-linked NGOs used to channel Valdez’s pork barrel funds are the National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor), Zamboanga del Norte Agricultural College Rubber Estate Corporation (ZREC), National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) and the Technology Resource Center (TRC), the Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (SDPFFI), Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Inc. (MAMFI), and the Philippine Social Development Foundation Incorporated (PSDFI).
Valdez is accused of amassing P57.787 million in payoffs from 2004 to 2010.
Whistleblowers Marina Sula and Merlina Suñas said Napoles called Valdez by his code name “kuryente.”
Also facing plunder charges are Napoles and her employee John Raymund De Asis.
Those facing graft charges are: Valdez, Napoles, De Asis, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) officials Mario Relampagos, Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule and Marilou Bare; ZREC representatives Salvador Salacup and Eduardo Nolasco; Nabcor officials Alan Javellana, Romulo Relevo, Ma. Julie Villaralvo-Johnson, Maria Ninez Guañizo, Victor Roman Cacal, Rhodora Mendoza; TRC officials Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, Marivic Jover; NLDC officials Gondelina Amata, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Gregoria Buenaventura, Ofelia Ordoñez, Sofia Cruz, Chita Jalandoni; SDPFI representatives Noel Macha; MAMFI representatives Theresita Samson, Eulogio Rodriguez, Margarita Guadinez; and PSDFI representatives Evelyn De Leon and Roy Bongalo.
Meanwhile, criminal charges against notaries public Editha Talaboc, Delfin Agcaoili, Jr., Joel Gordola, Antonio Santos, and accountants Lucita Solomon, Susan Victorino and SDPFFI incorporator Doreena Bazan were junked for lack of evidence.
The Ombudsman has also forwarded a copy of the resolution to the Anti-Money Laundering Council for its appropriate action on possible violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Accused mastermind Napoles is detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa female ward as she faces multiple charges of plunder and graft.
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