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Jinggoy’s staff, 13 others dismissed over PDAF scam

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the dismissal from the service of 14 government officials implicated in the alleged anomalous disbursement of former Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s P480.5 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

The accused were also permanently banned from holding public office in the future after they were found administratively guilty of grave misconduct, dishonest and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

They were Estrada’s deputy chief of staff Therese Mary Labayen; Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan and Marivic Jover of the Technology Resource Center (TRC); Gondelina Amata, Evelyn Sucgang, Chita Jalndoni, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal and Sofia Cruz of the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC); Victor Roman Cacal, Maria Ninez Guanizo, Romulo Relevo, Julie Villaralvo-Johnson and Rhodora Mendoza of the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR).

In the event of separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to respondent’s salary for one year.

Labayen and the 13 other respondents are also being tried before the Sandiganbayan for their alleged involvement in the alleged misuse of Estrada’s PDAF from 2007 to 2009.

Investigation found that for the three-year period, a total of P480.6 million was taken from Senator Estrada’s PDAF, out of which amount P278 million was coursed through non-government organizations (NGOs) controlled by Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind.

The P278 million was released by the Department of Budget and Management after which, Estrada allegedly through Labayen, identified the NABCOR, NLDC and TRC as implementing agencies coursed through the Napoles NGOs, namely:

Masaganing Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Inc. and Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc.