Ex-Eastern Samar solon charged over PDAF scam
The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to charge former Eastern Samar representative Teodulo “Doloy” Coquilla for his involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
The Ombudsman said Coquilla was charged with two counts each of Malversation and violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 for his involvement in the PDAF scam.
The Ombudsman said that in October 2007, Coquilla received P5 million as part of his PDAF for the acquisition of instructional materials and seedlings.
The agency said Coquilla entered into a Memorandum of Agreement, identifying National Agri-Business Corporation (Nabcor), as implementing agency and GABAYMASA as NGO-project partner.
The project called for the procurement of 32,887 calamundin, rambutan, chico and mango seedlings, and 10,470 instructional materials intended for his constituents in the municipalities of Dolores, Maslog, Jipapad, Lawaan and Guiuan.
Documents show that Coquilla signed the Certificate of Acceptance and Acknowledgment Receipt for the project.
However, investigation disclosed that there were gross violations of procurement rules as the suppliers were unregistered business entities, with non-existent addresses.
Discreet surveillance conducted by the Field Investigation Office found out that the supplier of seedlings was a garden shop engaged in the selling of rocks, pebbles, grass and landscaping services.
The investigation also found out that the supplier for the instructional materials was located in a residential area and sells car batteries and wheel interiors.
Quoting the Commission on Audit (COA), the Ombudsman said that “no fruit seedlings or instructional materials (were) distributed to beneficiaries” and “at the time material to the charges, the suppliers did not possess the required accreditation to transact” as it had no track record in project implementation.”
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, said Coquilla was an “accountable officer” because he is “the legislator responsible for the control and/or disposition of funds, drawn from his PDAF allocations”.
The Ombudsman has junked Coquilla’s defense, saying that his signatures were forged. The agency ruled that his denial, “no matter how vehement, is insufficient to prove forgery.”
“To be able to repeatedly divert substantial funds from the PDAF, access thereto must be made available, and this was made possible by Coquilla who chose GABAYMASA to implement his PDAF-related undertakings,” added Ombudsman Morales.
In the approved Resolution, it was explained that “there is cohesion and interconnection in the respondents’ intent and purpose” and that “the role played by each of them was so indispensable to the success of their scheme, that without any of them, the same would have failed.”
Along with Coquilla, other individuals charged were officials from the Nabcor namely, Alan Javellana, Encarnita-Cristina Munsod, Ma. Julie Villaralvo-Johnson and Romulo Relevo; and GABAYMASA officials Margie Luz and Ma. Cristina Vizcarra. CDG
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