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Ombudsman Denies MR of 5 Ex-Solon, et al. in PDAF scam

The Office of the Ombudsman affirmed the finding of probable cause against former Representatives Rizalina Seachon-Lañete (Masbate), Rodolfo Plaza (Agusan Del Sur), Samuel Dangwa (Benguet), Constantino Jaraula (Cagayan de Oro) and Edgar Valdez (APEC) in connection with the cases on the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) totaling P339 million.

Likewise facing criminal indictments are Janet Lim Napoles, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, and DBM officials Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule and Marilou Bare.

Also impleaded as co-accused are officers/representatives of the Implementing Agencies (IAs): Technology Resource Center (TRC) Director General Antonio Ortiz, Deputy Director General Dennis Cunanan and others; National Agri-Business Corporation (NABCOR) President Alan Javellana and others; National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) President Gondelina Amata and others; and a number of officers/representatives of the non-government organizations (NGOs), namely: the Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic and Development Foundation (CARED), Masaganang Ani para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. (MAMFI), Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc, (PSDFI) and the Social Development Program for Farmer Foundation, Inc. (SDPFFI).

In five separate Orders approved on December 29, 2014, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales denied the Motions for Reconsideration filed by respondents, considering that their pleadings are pro-forma or verbatim repetitions of the issues and claims raised in their counter-affidavits which were previously duly considered and already passed upon by the Office of the Ombudsman in its October 2014 Joint Resolutions.

Representative Lanete, Jose Sumalpong, Napoles and De Asis as well as Representative Valdez, Napoles and De Asis face separate plunder charges. The Orders also affirmed the finding against them and their respective sets of respondents for multiple counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Representatives Plaza, Dangwa and Jaraula and their respective sets of respondents face charges of Malversation, Direct Bribery, and violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The criminal complaints against NGO incorporators Aileen Palama, Noel Macha, Renato Ornopia, Lorna Ramirez, Gabby Saquing, Margarita Guadines, Aljerome Benito, Jesus Castillo, Theresita Samson and Annie Tan were dismissed in view of newly-discovered evidence consisting of the Sworn Statement submitted by the Field Investigation Office stating that these individuals had no knowledge that their names and signatures were used in incorporating the so-called JLN NGOs. The Office also dropped the charges of Section 3(b) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Napoles.

Source: Public Information and Media Relations Bureau, Office of the Ombudsman

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