What Went Before: Biazon, Ducut, others charged | Inquirer News

What Went Before: Biazon, Ducut, others charged

/ 03:31 AM March 04, 2016

In November 2013, the National Bureau of Investigation charged 34 individuals, including then Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chair Zenaida Cruz-Ducut, in the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel scam masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

Also named in the charge sheet were  several former congressmen—Salacnib Baterina, first district, Ilocos Sur province; Arrel Olaño, first district, Davao del Sur province; Arthur Pingoy Jr., second district, South Cotabato province; Rodolfo Valencia, first district, Oriental Mindoro province; and Douglas Cagas and his son Marc Douglas IV, both from the first district of Davao del Sur province—and auditors and former officials of the National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), Technology Resource Center (TRC) and presidents of two Napoles nongovernment organizations (NGOs).

READ: 6 pork lawmakers face trial


They were charged with malversation, direct bribery, graft and corrupt practices in connection with the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the official name of the graft-ridden pork barrel for lawmakers.


This was the second batch recommended for prosecution by the National Bureau of Investigation following the historic filing of charges of plunder, malversation, bribery, graft and corrupt practices against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada and 34 other people in September 2013.

In July 2015, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales announced that she had ordered Biazon, Ducut, Valencia, Olaño, the younger Cagas, and Pingoy to be charged with various counts of graft, malversation and direct bribery in the Sandiganbayan for their misuse of their pork barrel allocations.

This followed the formal charging of Estrada, Enrile, Revilla, Napoles and five others in the Sandiganbayan by the Ombudsman for plunder and graft in June 2014.

Ducut, a former Pampanga representative, was identified by the Ombudsman as the agent of Biazon and other congressmen in collecting kickbacks from Napoles in exchange for the use of their PDAF allocations for ghost projects for kickbacks.

According to the Ombudsman, Biazon received P1.9 million in so-called rebates through Ducut when he allocated P3 million of his pork barrel in 2007 to a bogus NGO, the Philippine Social Foundation Inc. controlled by Napoles.

The Ombudsman said the TRC, as the implementing agency, concocted ghost projects since no deliveries were made.


Valencia was charged with three counts of malversation and graft for his alleged anomalous use of P7 million of his pork funds from 2007 to 2009.

The Ombudsman said the TRC and Nabcor together with the questionable NGOs that received the PDAF did not implement the supposed livelihood and agricultural projects.

The Ombudsman said Valencia through his representative, Celia Cuasay, received at least P2.4 million in kickbacks from his PDAF projects in 2008.

Cagas was charged with two counts of graft and malversation for channeling P11 million of his PDAF from 2007 to 2009 into ghost projects with dubious NGOs that submitted fake accomplishment reports.

In August 2015, the NBI released the names of a third group accused of taking kickbacks in the pork barrel scam,  including Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Technical Education Skills and Development Authority Director General Joel Villanueva, La Union Rep. Victor Ortega, Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing, former Pangasinan Rep. Conrad Estrella III, former Abono party-list Rep. Robert Raymund Estrella, former La Union Rep. Manuel Ortega, former Zamboanga Rep. Isidoro Real Jr. and 31 others.

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The respondents in all cases denied wrongdoing. Inquirer Research

TAGS: Ruffy Biazon

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