TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines – An anti-corruption group on Friday, January 23, filed graft charges with the Ombudsman in Manila against Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III and two party-list representatives for allegedly misusing millions in pork barrel funds.
The Volunteers against Crime and Corruption (VACC) alleged that the provincial government under Dy released P25 million worth of relief goods to ghost recipients in 2013.
The funds came from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of I CARE Representative Michael Angelo Rivera and ABS Representative Catalina Leonen-Pizarro.
For this, VACC said, the respondents are liable for graft, malversation of funds, and falsification of public documents. They also face administrative charges for grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
VACC is seeking the preventive suspension for Dy, Rivera, and Pizarro while the case is being probed.
Ten other pople face charges for the alleged anomaly, seven of them provincial officials, including the provincial Commision on Audit (COA) supervisor.
The Commission on Audit earlier disclosed that P25 million worth of relief goods were released to non-existent calamity response activities in Isabela in 2013.
A certain Allan Ty of Cauayan town, where Dy served as mayor before, was paid the amount for supposed supplies that did not go through public bidding.
The National Bureau of Investigation also said there were no calamities in Isabela at the time of disbursement of funds for goods.
After notifying Dy about the findings in 2013, the governor demanded Ty to return said amount which the latter reportedly did after the VACC confirmed that the sum was intact in the provincial government’s Landbank of the Philippines account.
In its complaint, the VACC said the return of the amount did not mean that the respondents did not commit malversation of public funds.
Governor Dy unaware
Sought for comment, Dy said he was unaware of charges filed against him. “Filed cases against me? When?” he said in a phone interview.
“I will make my comment as soon as I received the complaint against me. As of now, I cannot justify what I have to say yet,” Dy said.
He refused to answer questions on whether he had dealt with congressmen Pizarro and Rivera.
Dy is on his second term as Isabela governor. He had served as mayor of Cauayan town for 9 years and as congressman of the province's 3rd district also for 9 years. – Rappler.com