Thursday, October 22, 2015

Grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service

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FORMER Technology Resource Center (TRC) Director General Dennis Cunanan and four other officials of the state-owned agency have been permanently barred from public service by the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged role in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

In a statement, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said Cunanan et al. were found administratively liable for the alleged misuse of P101 million in pork barrel allocations of former House members Alvin Sandoval (Malabon-Navotas), Anthony Miranda (Isabela) and Constantino Jaraula (Cagayan de Oro) that were released to bogus foundations through the TRC.

The former TRC officials were immediately dismissed from government service. The antigraft body also forfeited their retirement benefits and canceled their civil service eligibility.

“[They] facilitated, processed and approved the illegal disbursement of public funds orchestrated by Sandoval, Jaraula and Miranda,” Morales said.

“[They were] found … guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service,” she said.

During its investigation, the Ombudsman said it discovered that the projects were awarded by the TRC to nongovernment organizations (NGOs) without a public bidding being conducted.

It said the TRC officials also failed to check the financial capability and track record of the foundations.

The TRC accepted fake liquidation reports, list of recipients and beneficiaries, inspection reports, progress reports and other documents which the NGOs submitted regarding the release of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the formal name of the pork barrel, of the three former congressmen.

Aside from Cunanan, also dismissed from office were TRC chief accountant Marivic Jover, budget officer Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, sales and promotion officer Belina Concepcion and internal auditor Maurine Dimaranan.

Cunanan, a former student activist, is also facing a string of graft, malversation and bribery charges in the Sandiganbayan in relation to the pork barrel scam.

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