Ombudsman dismisses Jinggoy's aide, 13 others over PDAF scam
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of the deputy aide of former senator Jinggoy Estrada and 13 other officials in connection to the pork barrel scam.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales dismissed them from the service after finding them guilty of the administrative charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and dishonesty.
- Pauline Therese Mary Labayen – deputy chief of staff of former senator Jinggoy Estrada
- Antonio Ortiz – director deneral, Technology Resource Center (TRC)
- Gondelina Amata – president, National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC)
- Victor Roman Cacal – paralegal, National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR)
- Maria Niñez Guañizo – OIC-Accounting Division, NABCOR
- Romulo Relevo – General Services Unit head
- Ma Julie Villaralvo-Johnson – chief accountant, NABCOR
- Rhodora Mendoza – director, Financial Management Services, NABCOR
- Dennis Cunanan – director general, TRC
- Evelyn Sucgang – director, Accounts Management and Development, NLDC
- Chita Jalandoni – Department Manager III, NLDC
- Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal – Director IV, NLDC
- Marivic Jover – chief accountant, TRC
- Sofia Cruz – Project Development Assistant IV, NLDC
The officials are perpetually disqualified from holding public office. Their retirement benefits are also forfeited.
The officials are on trial for separate criminal charges stemmed from the misuse of Estrada's Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
According to the Ombudsman's investigation, P278 million of Estrada's P480-million PDAF from 2007 to 2009 was coursed through questionable non-governmental organizations (NGOs) ran by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
After the release of Special Allotment Release Orders (SARO), Estrada, through Labayen, identified NABCOR, NLDC, and TRC as implementing agencies, according to state investigators.
The investigation found that there were no actual deliveries of livelihood materials, farm implements, livelihood kits, and other items which were supposedly bought with the fund.
Mayors and municipal agriculturists also denied receiving any of the items from the office of the former senator.
Officials from the implementing agencies were charged because according to the Ombudsman, they were accountable for the allocation of funds to NGOs which were not capable of handling the projects.
“The concerned officials of NABCOR, NLDC and TRC did not even bother to conduct a due diligence audit on the selected NGO and the supplier by the NGO to provide the livelihood kits, which supply was carried out without the benefit of public bidding, in contravention of existing procurement rules and regulations,” Morales said.
The Ombudsman also dismissed this week government officials charged in connection to former senator Juan Ponce Enrile's PDAF scam charges. – Rappler.com