Ombudsman to file cases vs ERC chief, Biazon, other ex-congressmen

Rappler.com
Ombudsman to file cases vs ERC chief, Biazon, other ex-congressmen
The Ombudsman finds probable cause to file cases against another batch of personalities allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman is set to file charges against the second batch of individuals named in the National Bureau of Investigation complaint on the pork barrel scam, including former Customs chief Rozzano Rufino Biazon.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said in a news briefing on Wednesday, July 1, that the resolutions were served on Tuesday.

Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan said the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict former representatives Biazon of Muntinlupa City, Rodolfo Valencia of the First District of Oriental Mindoro, Arrel Olaño of the First District of Davao del Norte, Mark Douglas Cagas IV of the First District of Davao del Sur, and Arthur Pingoy Jr of the Second District of South Cotabato.

The others include officials of the Energy Regulatory Commission including chairperson Zenaida Ducut, Department of Budget and Management, Technology Resource Center, National Business Corporation (Nabcor); purported non-governmental organizations; and alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.

They will be charged with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, malversation, and direct bribery, Rafanan said.

The cases stem from the separate complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation and lawyer Levito Baligod, the former lawyer of primary pork scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.

The Ombudsman said other details of the case would be released within the day.

Third batch of cases

When asked, the Ombudsman said that more cases would be filed in relation to the pork barrel scam once her office finds strong evidence to back up cases.

Responding to questions, Morales said that while the third batch of potential pork scam-related cases investigated by the NBI has yet to be forwarded to her office, the Ombudsman is conducting its own investigation. 

She admitted, however, that there is difficulty with regard to the third batch.

“It’s a bit difficult to process these complaints because wala na si Luy, hindi na kasama sa third (batch because Luy is not involved in the third batch). But that should not deter us. We have our own independent teams gathering evidence, so tuloy (it continues),” Morales said.

Earlier this year, the Ombudsman filed plunder and bribery charges against 5 other former lawmakers, who were part of the first batch of plunder complaints that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed before the Ombudsman in September 2013. – Rappler.com

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