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Ombudsman sacks 13 over Revilla’s PDAF scam

  • Written by Joel dela Torre
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 150

THE Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of ex-Senator Bong Revilla’s former chief of staff Richard Cambe and 12 others over their alleged involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said the respondents were found guilty of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and dishonesty.
   
Aside from Cambe, among those ordered dismissed from service were Technology Resource Center (TRC) director general Dennis Cunanan, TRC chief accountant Marivic Jover, and TRC budget officer Consuelo Lilian Espiritu; National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) president Gondelina Amata, NLDC directors Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal and Chita Jalandoni, NLDC project development officer Sofia Cruz,  NLDC chief budget specialist Ofelia Ordoñez, Gregoria Buenaventura, Evelyn Sucgang;  National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) general services supervisor Victor Roman Cacal and NABCOR administrative and financial head Rhodora Mendoza.
   
The respondents are being tried before the Sandiganbayan for their involvement in the anomalous utilization of the 2006 to 2010 PDAF of former Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.
   
It was found out that from 2006 to 2010, former Senator Revilla continuously endorsed the implementation of his PDAF-funded livelihood and agricultural production projects in different parts of the country to questionable non-government organizations (NGOs) associated with or controlled by Janet Lim-Napoles.
   
From 2007 to 2009, a total of P517,000,000.00 was released by the Department of Budget and Management as part of Revilla’s PDAF. 
   
Revilla identified the NABCOR, NLDC and TRC as implementing agencies. 
   
To facilitate the scam, Revilla authorized Cambe “to act for him, deal with, and sign documents necessary for the immediate and timely implementation of the PDAF-funded projects.”
   
Several Memoranda of Agreement were signed by Cambe, representing the office of Senator Revilla.
   
The P517 million fund was allegedly used to buy livelihood materials, farm implements, starter kits, manuals, power sprayers, agricultural production kits, knapsacks, liquid fertilizers, gardening tools, soil, conditioner, gloves, ponchos, shovels, pick mattocks, seeds, trainings and agricultural chemicals.
   
During actual field validation, the Ombudsman found out no deliveries were made to the supposed beneficiaries. 
   
Concerned mayors and municipal agriculturists denied receiving any of the items from the office of Senator Revilla, the implementing agencies or any of the NGOs.