File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of the deputy aide of former senator Jinggoy Estrada and 13 other officials in connection to the pork barrel scam.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales dismissed them from the service after finding them guilty of the administrative charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and dishonesty.
The officials are perpetually disqualified from holding public office. Their retirement benefits are also forfeited.
The officials are on trial for separate criminal charges stemmed from the misuse of Estrada's Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
According to the Ombudsman's investigation, P278 million of Estrada's P480-million PDAF from 2007 to 2009 was coursed through questionable non-governmental organizations (NGOs) ran by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
After the release of Special Allotment Release Orders (SARO), Estrada, through Labayen, identified NABCOR, NLDC, and TRC as implementing agencies, according to state investigators.
The investigation found that there were no actual deliveries of livelihood materials, farm implements, livelihood kits, and other items which were supposedly bought with the fund.
Mayors and municipal agriculturists also denied receiving any of the items from the office of the former senator.
Officials from the implementing agencies were charged because according to the Ombudsman, they were accountable for the allocation of funds to NGOs which were not capable of handling the projects.
“The concerned officials of NABCOR, NLDC and TRC did not even bother to conduct a due diligence audit on the selected NGO and the supplier by the NGO to provide the livelihood kits, which supply was carried out without the benefit of public bidding, in contravention of existing procurement rules and regulations,” Morales said.