Ex-Caloocan lawmaker indicted over P10-M PDAF scam
MANILA, Philippines – Former Caloocan 2nd District representative Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy has been indicted for criminal charges in connection with the pork barrel scam.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found probable cause to file two counts of graft, and one count each of malversation and malversation through falsification of documents against Cajayon because of P10 million in ghost projects funded by her pork barrel when she was a lawmaker in 2009.
Cajayon-Uy is currently the Executive Director of the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), which is attached to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – the implementing agency of her alleged ghost projects.
Morales also ordered charges filed against Cajayon-Uy's alleged co-conspirators: Cenon Mayor of non-governmental organization Kaloocan Assistance Council, Incorporated (KACI); and DSWD officials involved in the transaction at the time.
The DSWD officials include former secretary Esperanza Cabral, Undersecretary Mateo Montaño, Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera, Chief Accountant Leonila Hayahay, and Assistant Director Pacita Sarino.
Cajayon-Uy's predecessor, former Caloocan 2nd District Representative Luis “Baby” Asistio, was also indicted for the same charges stemming from the same scheme, also through KACI, from 2006 to 2007. As in Cajayon's case, the DSWD was also the implementing agency of Asistio’s pork barrel-funded project.
Cajayon-Uy's pork barrel was supposed to provide assistance to the funeral, educational assistance, financial, and medical and dental needs of her constituents. It was also supposed to fund an anti-rabies program, fumigation, drainage de-clogging, sports activities, and other recreation activities in her district.
“Field validation by the Ombudsman revealed that Cajayon’s projects were dubious and considered as ghost projects,” the Office of the Ombudsman said in a statement.
Aside from the absence of procurement documents to support the supposed purchase of supplies for the sports and recreation activities, "a number of beneficiaries also denied having received any financial or burial assistance from the congresswoman,” the Ombudsman said.
Morales also noted that invoices and receipts from the main supplier, Silver A Enterprises, were falsified. Silver A also has no record with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Quezon City government.
KACI and Baby Asistio
“The Ombudsman also found it alarming that Cajayon approved the release of funds despite the NGO’s admission that it had failed to liquidate projects from 2006 to 2007,” the Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman was referring to Asistio’s flagged pork barrel transactions from 2006 to 2007 using the same NGO, KACI. In Asistio’s case, the Ombudsman said the former lawmaker conceived the scheme because KACI had direct links to him.
“KACI’s incorporators and officers are (Asistio’s) former political coordinators, volunteers and supporters and that its office was located on the same property as Asistio’s office,” the Ombudsman said.
Morales said that in Cajayon-Uy's case, the former lawmaker "failed to show that she has exerted earnest effort to ensure that KACI liquidated the second tranches of the subject funds and her failure to do so could only mean that she benefitted from the transaction, or that she was grossly negligent in her contractual obligation, making her liable for the offenses charged."
The Ombudsman added that the indicted DSWD officials in Cajayon-Uy's case “did not even bother to conduct a due diligence audit on KACI and its suppliers.” – Rappler.com