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2 ex-solons face charges for PDAF

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has indicted two former Cebu congressmen for the alleged anomalous implementation of their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) totaling to P6 million in 2004.

In a 19-page resolution, the Ombudsman found probable cause and ordered the filing of graft and corruption charges against ex-Representatives Antonio Cuenco of the 2nd district and Antonio Yapha, Jr. of the 3rd district before the Sandiganbayan..

Impleaded in the criminal complaint is Regional Executive Director Eduardo Lecciones of the Department of Agriculture.

Graft investigators said Cuenco and Yapha endorsed Kasosyo Foundation, Inc. to Lecciones as project implementor of their PDAF-related projects without the benefit of public bidding and despite the NGO’s lack of experience.

Using their PDAF funds, Kasosyo then bought 4,000 bottles of liquid fertilizers costing P6 million.
“Despite Kasosyo’s failure to comply with the legal requirements, respondents Cuenco and Yapha endorsed said NGO without providing any reason or justification for their choice and without first ascertaining if the latter was eligible or qualified,” the anti-graft czar stated.

Morales stressed that “respondents performed overt acts of signing endorsement letters, entered into a memorandum of agreement 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.”

She also directed anti-graft probers to conduct further inquiry on the alleged overprice in the procurement of liquid fertilizers.