News Briefs: Former Marinduque solon charged in fertilizer scam
State prosecutors have formally charged former Marinduque Rep. Edmundo Reyes, Jr., before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the 2004 fertilizer fund scam.
Reyes and six Department of Agriculture (DA) regional officials were accused of graft and malversation over the allegedly anomalous release of P5 million to Gabaymasa Development Foundation, Inc. despite its alleged lack of qualifications.
To facilitate the releases, the officials allegedly conspired to falsify the disbursement vouchers. Charged alongside Reyes were six DA regional officials: executive director Dennis Araullo, accountant Raymundo Braganza, technical directors Balagtas Torres and Rodolfo Guieb, legislative coordinator Lucille Odejar and cashier II Dory Iranzo. —Vince F. Nonato
Ombudsman OKs raps vs 2 former Mindanao mayors
The Office of the Ombudsman has approved the filing of criminal charges against two former Mindanao mayors, as well as the former Caraga regional director of the Department of Agrarian Reform.
Former mayor William Duma-an and municipal treasurer Arnold Samon of Caraga, Davao Oriental, were indicted for graft for the procurement of heavy equipment worth P32.7 million without public bidding.
The Ombudsman also indicted former mayor Teodoro Acosta of Sominot, Zamboanga del Sur, for his alleged failure to file his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth for the years 2005, 2012 and 2013. Former DAR regional director Yusoph Mama of Butuan City faces a possible malversation case for failing to liquidate his cash advances of P184,904. —Vince F. Nonato
Sandiganbayan junks graft case vs Cebu solon
The Sandiganbayan has dismissed the graft case filed against Cebu City 2nd District Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa in connection with alleged conflict of interest over the city’s P51.065 million scholarship deal with his own college.
In a 10-page resolution, the court’s First Division granted Abellanosa’s motion to quash because the allegations against him “do not constitute” a case for Section 3(i) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Prosecutors said that as councilor, Abellanosa took part in passing City Resolution No. 12-3355-2011, which “authorized” the city mayor in 2011 to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Asian College of Technology and International Educational Foundation.
Abellanosa also headed the college as trustee-president. However, the court said the prosecution failed to show that Abellanosa exercised discretion when he approved the transaction or act, as required by the antigraft law. —VINCE F. NONATO
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