Former Isabela lawmaker charged for alleged P20-M pork anomalies
Former Isabela Rep. Anthony Miranda was charged on Tuesday with graft and malversation for allegedly using P20.06 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to implement projects through his own nongovernment organization.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor, which is under the Office of the Ombudsman, filed the charges against Miranda and seven others for allegedly misappropriating P20.06 million of his PDAF, commonly called as pork barrel, to Aksyon Makamasa Foundation, Inc. (AMFI), an NGO the congressman established.
Prosecutors accused Miranda of two counts of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for allegedly causing undue injury to government when he endorsed AMFI as a project partner to implement his P9.5 million livelihood project and another P10.56 million project in 2007.
Miranda was accused of endorsing AMFI without the benefit of a public bidding and even when the NGO was unqualified and unaccredited to implement the projects.
He was also charged with two counts of violations of Section 3(h) of the anti-graft law for allegedly having direct financial interest in his PDAF projects because he chose as a project partner AMFI, which he himself owns and controls.
Finally, Miranda was charged with two counts of malversation for allegedly misappropriating P9.5 million and P10.56 million PDAF and converting these PDAF releases for his own personal use and benefit.
The prosecution recommended a bail amount of P30,000 for each count of graft, and P40,000 for each count of malversation.
Miranda’s co-accused in the graft and malversation cases are the following – Technology Resource Center (TRC) former officials Director Antonio Ortiz, Deputy Director Dennis Cunanan, Chief Accountant Marivic Jover, Group Managers Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana and Francisco Figura, ex-Legislative Liaison Officer Belina Concepcion, as well as AMFI representatives Domingo Mamauag and Edison Sabio.
TRC served as the implementing agency that entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with project partner AMFI.
In her earlier resolution indicting the officials, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said Miranda misappropriated his PDAF as if it were his own for projects which turned out to be non-existent.
Securities and Exchange Commission records showed that AMFI is a non-stock and non-profit association incorporated by Miranda as chairman.
“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 Ombudsman said.
The respondents failed to conduct a diligence audit on the capability and qualification of AMF to undertake the project, with no documents presented for evaluation and verification for NGO-accreditation purposes, the Ombudsman added.
The MOA failed to indicate the beneficiaries of the projects, project duration, provision on systems, procedures and standards for implementation and completion of the project, Ombudsman said.
The MOA instead “granted full responsibility to AMFI in the disposition/disbursement of Miranda’s PDAF,” Ombudsman said.
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