Nograles faces raps for P47-M pork barrel misuse
Former Speaker and Davao City Rep. Prospero Nograles faces graft charges for allegedly using pork barrel funds for ghost projects when he was caretaker of Misamis Oriental.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said she had ordered the filing of graft and malversation charges against Nograles for the anomalous use of the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) of the late congressman Danilo Lagbas, who died in 2008.
Nograles is set to face in court three counts of violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, one count of Malversation, and two counts of Malversation thru Falsification of Public Documents, both punishable under the Revised Penal Code.
He is the father of incumbent Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, a key ally of President Rodrigo Duterte.
His co-accused are his Chief of Staff Jennifer Karen Lagbas and Chief Public Affairs Officer Danilo Jamito; National Agri-business Corporation (NABCOR) representatives Allan Javellana, Encarnita Cristina Munsod, Romulo Relevo, Ma. Julie Villaralvo-Johnson, Rhodora Mendoza; National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) representatives Gondelina Amata, Evelyn Sucgang, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Ofelia Ordoñez, Sofia Cruz; Technology Resource Center (TRC) representatives Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, Marivic Jover and Ma. Rosalinda Lacsamana; Marilou Antonio, Godofredo Roque, Maria Paz Vega, Marilou Ferrer, Rodrigo Doria, Flerida Alberto, Miraflor Villanueva, Melinda Guerrero and Carmelita Barredo.
The Ombudsman’s investigation showed that from 2007 to 2009, the Department of Budget and Management released P47.5 million of the PDAF of Lagbas for livelihood projects to be implemented by NABCOR, TRC and NLDC and various bogus foundations.
A field verification by the Ombudsman Field Investigation Unit in Mindanao revealed that livelihood project beneficiaries did not receive the livelihood technology kits/materials, grafted seedlings, hand tractors and water pumps.
The projects supposedly implemented were supported with questionable and spurious documents.
Suppliers also denied providing farm implements or issuing any invoices and receipts, the Ombudsman added.
Lagbas and Nograles chose the following NGOs to implement the projects: Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa MasaFoundation, Inc. (KKAMFI), Kasangga sa Magandang Bukas Foundation, Inc. (KMBFI), Gabay at Pag-asa ng Masa Foundation, Inc. (GPMFI) and the Buhay Mo Mahal Ko Foundation, Inc. (BMMKFI).
Based on the documents and testimonies, Lagbas and Nograles selected and identified the programs to be funded out of the PDAF allocation and directly participated and intervened in the various phases of the project implementation.
The Commission on Audit said the original receipts used by the alleged supplier C.C. Barredo Publishing House contained overlapping series numbers.
The supplier’s Authority to Print receipts were also used by two other establishments, G-Roy Enterprises and Ikaw at Ako Foundation, Inc.
“The chosen NGOs could not qualify for the grant of government funds since they failed to strictly comply with all the requirements needed in order to be considered eligible to implement government-funded projects,” the Ombudsman said in its resolution.
The Ombudsman said the death of Lagbas did not extinguish the crime.
Citing People versus Henry T. Go, the Ombudsman said that “if circumstances exist where the public officer may no longer be charged in court, as in the present case where the public officer has already died, the private person may be indicted alone.”
Nograles was found liable because he continued the PDAF transactions of Lagbas even after the latter’s death.
“He took over as caretaker of the1st District of Misamis Oriental and continued what had been started by Congressman Lagbas by signing the letter-request to NLDC for the immediate release of the PDAF allocation of P10,000,000.00 to KKAMFI. Nograles likewise signed the MOA with NLDC and KKAMFI as well the work financial plans and project proposal,” the Ombudsman said
Ombudsman Morales also ordered copies of the resolution be given to the Anti-Money Laundering Council for its immediate action on possible violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act. CBB/rga
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