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EX-CEBU REPRESENTATIVES FACING PHP 6 MILLION GRAFT CASE

Two former Cebu representatives were indicted by the Ombudsman for graft over the alleged misuse of their pork barrel funds in 2004.

EX-CEBU REPRESENTATIVES FACING PHP 6 MILLION GRAFT CASE
Image Source: ffemagazine.com
It found probable cause to file charges of violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Antonio Cuenco of the 2nd district and Antonio Yapha Jr. of the 3rd district of Cebu said in a statement of The Office of the Ombudsman.



Regional Executive Director Eduardo Lecciones of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit was also charged with two counts of graft.

Cuenco and Yapha endorsed Kasosyo Foundation Inc. to Lecciones to implement a project using their Priority Development Assistance Funds, the now defunct pork barrel, according to the Ombudsman.

But the Ombudsman found out that the two representatives chose the foundation without the benefit of a public bidding and despite the lack of experience of the nongovernment organization.

At least 4,000 bottles of liquid fertilizers amouting to PhP 1,500/bottle were purchased by Kasosyo for a total project cost of PhP 6 million sourced from the representatives’ PDAF.

The Ombudsman said that “Despite Kasosyo’s failure to comply with the legal requirements, respondents Cuenco and Yapha unequivocally endorsed said NGO without providing any reason or justification for their choice and without first ascertaining if the latter was eligible or qualified,”.

The respondents signed endorsement letters, a memorandum of agreement, and approved payments to Kasosyo despite the irregularities, The Ombudsman added.

“(Respondents) performed overt acts of signing endorsement letters, entered into a MOA, and approved payments to Kasosyo, all designed to bring fruition the sole objective of making Kasosyo as the project partner which would undertake the farm imputs/farm implements projects,” the Ombudsman said.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales directed its Field Investigation Office to conduct further inquiry on alleged overpricing in the procurement of liquid fertilizers. 


Source: Inquirer.net

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