The Ombudsman has found probable cause to criminally charge a former member of the House of Representatives representing a district of Masbate province before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, in connection with the alleged misuse of the pork barrel funds.
Current Masbate governor and former congressional district representative Rizalina L. Seachon-Lañete is facing a plunder case for the alleged anomalous use of her Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations amounting to P112.29 million from 2007 to 2009.
Lanete’s chief of staff Jose Sumalpong is also facing plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the scam involving Lanete’s PDAF allocations.
The Ombudsman said, “During her term as [congresswoman], Lanete continuously endorsed the implementation of her PDAF-funded livelihood and agricultural projects to questionable NGOs associated with or controlled by Napoles.”
Napoles, who is currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig for plunder in connection with the charges against the three senators, is the alleged brains behind the pork barrel scam.
“Field investigation conducted by Ombudsman investigators revealed that the P112.29 million PDAF was never used for the intended agricultural and livelihood projects as the documents submitted such as Disbursement Vouchers, Progress and Accomplishment Reports, Fund Utilization, Inspection and Delivery Reports, and Certificates of Acceptance were all fabricated,” the Ombudsman said.
According to the Ombudsman, the Special Audit Report of COA supported the testimonies of the whistleblowers that Lanete received total commissions amounting to P108.4 million from 2004 to 2010. Of this amount, P73 million was received from 2007 to 2009.