Ex-Isabela solon faces raps for allegedly misusing P20-M ‘pork’
A former Isabela lawmaker is facing graft and malversation charges for allegedly channeling P20 million of his 2007 Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to a nongovernment organization that he had founded himself.
In a statement, the Office of the Ombudsman said former representative Anthony Miranda of Isabela’s 4th district faces two counts of graft each for violations of Sections 3(e) and 3(h) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and two counts of malversation for violating Article 127 of the Revised Penal Code.
“Miranda misappropriated his PDAF amounting to P20,060,000.00 in 2007 through a scheme involving livelihood projects in his district but which turned out to be non-existent or ghost,” the Ombudsman said in a 41-page resolution.
Along with Miranda, the Ombudsman also indicted officials of Technology Resource Center (TRC), namely ex-director Antonio Ortiz, ex-deputy director Dennis Cunanan, chief accountant Marivic Jover, Ggroup managers Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana and Francisco Figura, and ex-Legislative Liaison Officer Belina Concepcion, and Aksyon Makamasa Foundation, Inc. (AMFI) representatives Domingo Mamauag and Edison Sabio.
The Ombudsman said the still unliquidated funds were diverted to AMFI, a non-stock and non-profit association with Miranda as chairman.
Citing a special audits office report by the Commission on Audit, the Ombudsman said the Department of Budget and Management, on January 15, 2007 and on February 23, 2007, released P10 million and P11 million to TRC upon Miranda’s request. In his letters to TRC, Miranda then endorsed AMFI as the implementing NGO of livelihood projects funded by his PDAF.
“On March 12 and 30, 2007, Miranda, Ortiz and Sabio entered into separate Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) to facilitate the transfer of P9,500,000.00 and P10,000,000.00 with the corresponding Release Memoranda and Disbursement Vouchers accomplished, signed and approved a day after,” the Ombudsman said.
“Miranda had treated his PDAF as if it were his own funds, dictating how it should be utilized and released. Through Mamauag, Miranda received the amount comprising 95% of his PDAF on 12 March 2007 and 02 April 2007 respectively without submitting any progress reports or liquidation documents despite demands,” the resolution added.
The Ombudsman said the respondents violated procurement rules as public bidding was not conducted to determine the NGO that will implement the project, adding that the MOAs did not indicate its supposed beneficiaries, duration, provision on systems, procedures and standards for implementation, and completion.
“The MOA granted full responsibility to AMFI in the disposition/disbursement of Miranda’s PDAF,” the Ombudsman said, noting that the MOAs also did not include a schedule of fund releases.
The Ombudsman also ordered that the Anti-Money Laundering Council be furnished with a copy of the resolution for possible violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Yuji Vincent Gonzales/IDL
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