2 more ex-congressmen face PDAF scam charges before Sandigan
MANILA, Philippines – Charges against two former congressmen were filed before the Sandiganbayan in relation to the pork barrel scam, adding to the growing list of indicted public officials over the controversial funds.
The Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday, April 20, filed 3 counts of graft and 3 counts of malversation of public funds each against former Malabon-Navotas representative Alvin Sandoval and former Davao del Norte representative Arrel Olaño for allegedly funneling their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus NGOs and earning kickbacks from these transactions.
An additional one count of direct bribery was filed against Olaño.
Investigators found out that Olaño dealt with NGOs linked to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, while Sandoval transacted with a non-Napoles group.
Olaño's PDAF, amounting to P7.97 million, was said to be issued through several SAROs to the Philippine Social Development Foundation, Incorporated (PSDFI) and the Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development (CARED). He allegedly received commissions and kickbacks amounting to at least P3.175 million from Napoles.
Co-accused in Olaño's case are former officials of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC). Also included are Napoles and several other private defendants.
Meanwhile, Sandoval was found to have over P30 million in misused public funds in 2007 and 2008.
The co-accused of Sandoval are 5 former TRC officials and 5 private defendants from 3 NGOs – Pangkabuhayan Foundation Incorporated, Dr Rodolfo A. Ignacio Sr Foundation Incorporated, and Jacinto Castel Borja Foundation Incorporated.
Bail bonds were pegged at P30,000 per count for the graft cases, and P40,000 for each malversation charge.
Sandoval and Olaño join the growing list of officials charged before the Sandiganbayan in line with the PDAF scam.
In March, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of cases against former representatives Rozzano Rufino Biazon (Muntinlupa City), Rodolfo Valencia (1st district of Oriental Mindoro), Marc Douglas Cagas IV (1st district of Davao del Sur), Arrel Olaño (1st district of Davao del Norte), and Arthur Pingoy Jr (2nd district of South Cotabato) for their involvement in the PDAF scam.
The Sandiganbayan also ordered the arrest of former Bukidnon representative Candido Pancrudo Jr for conspiring with National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) in the scam.
The Sandiganbayan had earlier detained Masbate Governor Rizalina Seachon-Lanete and former Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) party-list representative Edgar Valdez. The court, however, granted bail to the two in April. (READ: Court grants bail to Napoles, 2 ex-lawmakers) – Rappler.com
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