Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Motion in fertilizer fund scam filed by Gov. Carmencita Reyes denied


Ombudsman files plunder raps vs 'operators' in P728-M fertilizer scam - Interaksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday filed plunder charges against the suspected operators behind the P728-million fertilizer fund scam that allegedly benefited the election campaign kitty of former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro ordered the filing of charges against former Agriculture Secretary Luis Ramon “Cito” P. Lorenzo, Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante, Assistant Secretary Ibarra T. Poliquit and other ranking officials of the Department of Agriculture.

“The Acting Ombudsman earlier found probable cause to indict Lorenzo and Bolante, in conspiracy with other high-ranking DA officials for plunder. The respondents, however, filed their separate motions for reconsideration but these were denied by the Office,” the agency’s spokesperson, lawyer Mary Rawnsle Lopez said in a statement.

The motions for reconsideration filed by former congresswoman Nanette Castelo-Daza, Marinduque governor Carmencita Reyes and former Catanduanes governor Leandro B. Verceles, Jr. were likewise denied.

These officials will be charged with violation of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).


Criminal charges for malversation were also filed against Agriculture Regional Directors Cesar D. Rodriguez, Dennis B. Araullo, Ricardo D. Oblena, Leo P. Caneda, Oscar O. Parawan, Roger C. Chio, Sumail K. Sekak and Eduardo B. Lecciones, Jr.

According to Lopez, Casimiro also ordered the dismissal from the service of Poliquit, Oblena, Araullo, Caneda, Parawan, Rodolfo M. Guieb, Balagtas K. Torres, Abelardo Bragas, Felix Ramos, Ofelia Montilla and Gregorio Sangalang, all of the DA; and Rodolfo G. Malinana, Ireneo C. Del Rosario, Roger M. Pitajen, and Herbert DLS Evangelista, Sr., all local officials of the provincial government of Catanduanes.

The fertilizer fund scam was one of the biggest anomalies that marred the nine-year term of former president Arroyo. The money was misused because the papers covering the funding made it appear that congressional districts received funds for fertilizer support for farmers. Even lawmakers from urban districts, like Makati City’s Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Las Pinas’s Cynthia Villar, were made to appear as having received such funds for their districts. Locsin and Villar were the first to denounce the scam on the floor of Congress.

Source: Interaksyon.com

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