Sandiganbayan convicts 17 ex-GOCC, NGO execs over pork barrel scam

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Sandiganbayan convicts 17 ex-GOCC, NGO execs over pork barrel scam

ANTI-GRAFT COURT. The Sandiganbayan in Quezon City, June 30, 2018.

Darren Langit/Rappler

The Sandiganbayan says the former officials of three state-controlled companies approved disbursements to non-government organizations with dubious documents and addresses

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan Third Division has convicted 15 former officials from three government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and two officers from non-government organizations (NGOs) on 36 criminal charges initiated by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017 over pork barrel misuse.

These charges pertain to the P62 million released from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of former Misamis Occidental Representative Marina Clarete between 2007 and 2009.

The court’s 195-page decision, penned by Associate Justice Ronald Moreno, said that the GOCC officials disregarded legal requirements and entered agreements with NGOs with dubious addresses and accepted falsified documents.

“The modalities of manifest partiality, evident bad faith, and gross negligence are all present in the questioned transactions,” the Sandiganbayan said.

Key convictions
  • Rhodora Mendoza, former vice president of National Agribusiness Corp (Nabcor), received the heaviest sentence with eight counts each of graft and malversation, resulting in 48 to 80 years for graft and 60 to 90 years for malversation.
  • Flerida Alberto, president of Kabuhayan at Kalusugang Alay sa Masa Foundation, Inc. (KKAMFI), was convicted on six counts each of graft and malversation, with a sentence of 72 to 126 years.
GOCC officials
  • National Agribusiness Corp (Nabcor): Encarnita Munsod, Victor Roman Cacal, Romulo Relevo, and Maria Ninez Guañizo were convicted. Munsod faces 56 to 87 years, Cacal 24 to 43 years, Relevo 28 to 43 years, and Guañizo 24 to 43 years.
  • National Livelihood Development Corp (NLDC): Gondelina Amata, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Chita Jalandoni, Gregoria Buenaventura, Ofelia Ordoñez, and Sofia Cruz were found guilty. Each received sentences ranging from 32 to 83 years.
  • Technology Resource Center (TRC): Dennis Cunanan, Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, Marivic Jover, and Consuelo Lilian Espiritu were convicted. Sentences ranged from 8 to 43 years.
Private Defendants
  • Aaron Foundation Philippines Inc. (AFPI): Pio Ronquillo was convicted on two counts each of graft and malversation, resulting in a 24 to 43-year sentence.
Arrest warrants issued

The Sandiganbayan ordered the issuance of warrants of arrest against several individuals who remain at large, including:

  • Former Rep. Marina Clarete
  • Former TRC director general Antonio Ortiz
  • Former Nabcor president Alan Javellana
  • Nabcor chief accountant Ma. Julie Villaralvo-Johnson
  • NLDC director Evelyn Sucgang
  • KKAMFI corporate secretary Marilou Ferrer
  • KKAMFI chief finance officer Marilou Antonio
  • KKAMFI administrative officer Maria Paz Vega
  • KKAMFI incorporator Rodrigo Doria
  • KKAMFI staff Ma. Nerizan Gador

The court has yet to acquire jurisdiction over these defendants as they remain at large. –

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