5 Muslim office execs dismissed over PDAF scam

THE Office of the Ombudsman confirmed the dismissal of five executives of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) from Mindanao on their involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales confirmed the dismissal and perpetual disqualification from public office of NCMF secretary commissioner Mehol Sadain, director Galay Makalinggan, acting chief accountant Fedelina Aldanese, acting chief Aurora Aragon-Mabang, and cashier Olga Galido.

The five accused were found guilty for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. In case of separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to their one-year salary.

Carpio-Morales said the five accused are also facing trial before the Sandiganbayan for violation of the Republic Act 3019, otherwise known as The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for the anomalous utilization of the PDAF of the former Maguindanao Representative Simeon Datumanong, who passed away in February 2017.

In-depth investigation revealed that on May 2012, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued Special Allotment Release Order (Saro) covering P3.8 million in favor of the NCMF charged against Datumanong's PDAF.

The money was intended to finance livelihood programs such as soap making, candle making and meat processing for the municipalities of Mamasapano, Ampatuan and Datu Abdullah Sanki in Maguindanao province.

To facilitate the fund utilization, Datumanong requested that the P3.8-million be coursed through the Maharlikang Lipi Foundation Inc. (MLFI), as non-government organization (NGO) partner, through execution of a memorandum of agreement (MOA).

The Commission on Audit (COA) found that the selection of the NGO was undertaken in violation of COA Circular 2007-01 noting the absence of public bidding in the NGO-selection process.

Morales ruled that "it has been proven that respondents participated in the preparation and execution of the MOA on the implementation of Datumanong's PDAF-funded projects covered by the Saro."

The Ombudsman said the five accused miserably failed to measure up to the procurement policy standards when they failed to strictly comply with the Government Procurement Reform Act. (ICT)
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