Nueva Ecija lawmaker, ex-agri chief indicted over P15-M ‘pork’ mess
For the second time this month, the Office of the Ombudsman has charged Bohol Rep. Arthur Yap in the Sandiganbayan for the alleged misuse of pork barrel funds when he was Agriculture secretary.
This time, Yap was charged in connection with the alleged misuse of former Nueva Ecija Rep. Rodolfo Antonino’s P14.55-million allocation on an alleged “ghost” livelihood project in 2007.
Two counts each of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and malversation of public funds were filed on Aug. 22.
State prosecutors alleged Antonino unilaterally endorsed Buhay Mo Mahal Ko Foundation Inc. (BMMKFI) as project partner for the distribution of livelihood technology kits funded by his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) proceeds.
The selection of BMMKFI was allegedly done without the benefit of public bidding as required by the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Still, the National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), a now-defunct state corporation, entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with BMMKFI representative Marilou Antonio.
As Agriculture secretary then, Yap also entered into a separate MOA with Nabcor president Alan Javellana for the purported implementation of the PDAF-funded project.
Javellana and three other Nabcor officials—Rhodora Mendoza, Encarnita-Cristina Potian Munsod and Maria Ninez Guañizo—were faulted for processing and releasing the funds in two tranches of P13.095 million and P1.455 million, without checking BMMKFI’s qualifications.
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