QUEZON CITY — Camarines Sur 1st district congressman Rolando Andaya, Jr., was formally charged by the Office of the Ombudsman, for his role as the secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, in connection with the anomalous utilization of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) released during the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Included in the same complaint are former Rep. Salacnib Baterina of the 1st district of Ilocos Sur, Janet Lim Napoles, and several others.
The Office of the Ombusdsman has ordered the filing of charges against former Rep. Baterina for his role in the anomalous utilization of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) released in 2007.
The Ilocano congressman face three counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, three counts of malversation and one count of direct bribery.
Already, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the filing of charges against Baterina for his involvement in the anomalous utilization of his PDAF released in 2007.
According to investigation covering the period from January to February 2007, the DBM released a total of P35M as part of the former Ilocos congressman’s PDAF to fund livelihood and farm input projects for his constituents.
Baterina identified and requested the implementation of projects be coursed through NGO-implimentors Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc. and the Kaagapay Magpakailanman Foundation, Inc. He also requested that the funds be downloaded to the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center as implementing agency.
Field investigation showed none of the projects were implemented. Whistleblower Benhur Luy stated that Janet Lim Napoles gave commissions worth over P7.5M to Baterina and that it was Zenaida Ducut “who facilitated the transaction by acting as agent of Napoles for Baterina. Ducut was tasked by Napoles to look for lawmakers willing to deal with Napoles in connection with the PDAF scheme.”
The Commission on Audit found lapses in the utilization of the fund, such as the lack of public bidding in the NGO-selection process, absence of documents supporting the actual utilization and liquidation of public funds.
COA revealed that there was the no list of beneficiaries, official receipts with municipal agriculturists in 11 municipalities denying receipt of any livelihood materials or farm inputs.
As DBM Secretary, Andaya was charged “for his issuance of the Sub-Allotment Release Orders and Notices of Cash Allotment even if the required project profiles and endorsements from the implementing agencies were not obtained in violation of DBM National Budget Circular No. 476, thus making the funds easily accessible to the TLRC and bogus NGOs.” (from report by Bicol Mail)
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