OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio Morales on Wednesday fired 18 government bureaucrats and perpetually barred them from holding public office due to graft and corruption in connection with the anomalous utilization of the Priority Development Assistance Fund.
Fired and barred are Chief of Staff Jennifer Karen Lagbas and Chief Public Affairs Officer Danilo Jamito, National Agribusiness Corporation representatives Alan Javellana, Encarnita Cristina Munsod, Romulo Relevo and Rhodora Mendoza; National Livelihood Development Corporation representatives Gondelina Amata, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Ofelia Ordoñez and Sofia Cruz and Technology Resource Center representatives Dennis Cunanan, Marivic Jover, Belina Concepcion, and Maurine Dimaranan; Filipina Rodriguez, Chita Jalandoni, Gregoria Buenaventura, and Elsie Walican.
Morales said these government functionaries were found liable for various administrative offenses such as Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty, and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service. She added that in case the penalty can no longer be implemented due to separation from service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to respondent’s one year salary.
Morales said her investigators found that respondents conspired with lawmakers in the anomalous utilization of the PDAF of former representatives Salacnib Baterina, Prospero Nograles, Marc Douglas Cagas IV and Thomas Dumpit, Jr.
In their modus operandi, Morales explained, multi-million peso PDAF projects were found to be “ghost projects.”
Furthermore, she added, it was discovered that many of the livelihood project beneficiaries denied receipt of the livelihood technology kits/materials, grafted seedlings, hand tractors and water pumps. The reported projects implemented through the NGOs were supported by questionable and spurious documents. Suppliers also denied providing farm implements or issuing any invoices and receipts.
The sacked bureaucrats, Morales said, are also facing trial before the Sandiganbayan for multiple counts of violation of Republic Act No. 9184 (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and Malversation.