QC Representative Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo to be tried before anti-graft court for PhP8M PDAF scam

Conchita Cario Morales (left) and Quezon City 1st District Rep. Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo

OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio Morales is set to indict Quezon City Representative Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo before the Sandiganbayan for graft, malversation and falsification of public documents in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund.

Specifically, Crisologo is to be charged with two counts each of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), Malversation and Malversation thru Falsification of Public Documents.

Morales, in a press statement, said probable cause has been found to warrant the prosecution of the House representative of the 1st District of QC.

Crisologo was a former member of the Nacionalista Party who shifted his allegiance to the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Coalition after President Rodrigo Duterte was elected into office in 2016. He is now the Deputy Majority Leader of the House.

At the same time, Morales also ordered the filing of charges against the lawmaker’s alleged co-conspirators from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), namely: former Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Undersecretary Mateo Montaño, Lualhati Pablo, Leonila Hayahay, Vilma Cabrera, Pacita Sarino; and Cenon Mayor, President of Kaloocan Assistance Council, Inc. (KACI).

KACI is the same is the same non-governmental organization that former Caloocan City House Reps. Luis “Baby” Asistio and Mitzi Cajayon-UyCrisologo used to funnel their pork barrel and the cause of their indictment for the same charges that Crisologo now faces before the anti-graft court.

Moreover, just like the two lawmakers from Caloocan City, Crisologo also used the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as implementing agency and that explains why former social welfare secretary Cabral became a co-respondent of all three lawmakers in their separate cases.

Investigation conducted by the Ombudsman’s Task Force PDAF found that in 2009, Crisologo requested the Department of Budget and Management for the release of PhP8 million for the implementation of his PDAF-funded Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS) program to be coursed through the DSWD as implementing agency.

Congressman Crisologo specifically requested KACI as NGO-partner for the CIDSS project consisting of medical/hospitalization assistance, transportation, calamity, death, burial, educational expenses, small-scale livelihood, socio-cultural expenses, small-scale infrastructure assistance and values training.

Upon checking the documents of the project, investigators found that KACI submitted falsified receipts and that the beneficiaries of the financial assistance included coordinators and political supporters of Crisologo.

Also, the Ombudsman investigators obtained affidavits of alleged beneficiaries denying receipt of any burial or financial assistance. They also denied that the signatures appearing on the vouchers were theirs. Even the National Children’s Hospital, through their representatives, also denied that a free medical or dental mission were conducted in October 2009, contrary to claims of the respondents.

Furthermore, the investigators also discovered that KACI’s main supplier, Silver A Enterprises is not a registered business entity as validated from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Quezon City Business Permit and Licensing Office.

In its Resolution, the Ombudsman said Crisologo failed to show that he exerted earnest efforts to ensure that KACI liquidated the tranches of the funds which “could only mean that he benefited from the transaction or that he was grossly negligent.”

[Crisologo] is after all, accountable for the funds because he has control, if not actual custody of the funds, as these funds cannot be released without his consent and directives,” Morales explained.

Expounding on this point, the Resolution further said “Crisologo treated his PDAF as if it were his own funds, dictating how it should be utilized and released. He not only identified the project, implementing agency and NGO, but also determined how much of his PDAF should go to the projects, or in this case, KACI.”

The anti-graft agency added that “the concerned DSWD officers did not even bother to conduct a due diligence audit on KACI and its suppliers. Instead, they accepted the sole representation of Congressman Crisologo and KACI to undertake the projects in contravention of existing procurement laws and regulations. Further, they processed the release of the PDAF to KACI on the sole basis of the endorsement letter and project design.”

Meanwhile, in the parallel administrative adjudication proceedings, the Ombudsman found Montaño, Cabrera and Sarino guilty of Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and were dismissed from service.

Aside frm the dismissal, however, they were also meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and bar from taking civil service examinations.

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  1. Pingback: QC Representative Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo to be tried before anti-graft court for PhP8M PDAF scam - Duterte Daily

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