VACC asks Ombudsman to reopen probe on ‘ghost delivery’ of relief goods to Isabela

Saturday, October 13 2018

VACC asks Ombudsman to reopen probe on ‘ghost delivery’ of relief goods to Isabela

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THE Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) urged Ombudsman Samuel Martires to re-investigate a case involving the supposed “ghost delivery” of relief goods to Isabela.
The VACC made the call to Martires, through Local Government Undersecretary Martin Diño, who served at the VACC before being appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
In a statement, Diño said the VACC filed in 2015 a case before the Office of the Ombudsman against Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy 3rd, Rep. Catalina Leonen-Pizarro of ABS party-list, Rep. Michael Angelo Rivera of 1-CARE party-list and other government officials in Isabela, over the alleged malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents and for violating Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
In 2013, Diño said, Pizarro and Rivera allocated P15 million and P10 million of their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF), respectively, to the provincial government of Isabela.
“The funds were intended for social services, particularly for the purchase of relief goods for distribution to…various victims of calamities in all the municipalities in the province of Isabela,” he said.
Diño also said that the document containing the transactions indicated that the Isabela government “purportedly purchased” from Sanitary Mart Corporation canned and other goods worth P10 million and rice worth P15 million from Jimmy Pua Enterprises, Inc., which did not undergo public bidding.
The DILG official then claimed the rice and canned goods purchased were delivered to and received by the municipal social welfare and development officers (MSWDO) of the different Isabela municipalities for distribution from a typhoon that struck the province in 2013.
“[T]here was never a purchase nor delivery of the rice and goods. The documents of the purchase and acceptance were all falsified to make it appear that there was indeed purchase and delivery,” Diño said.
The VACC, Diño added, was able to obtain evidence bearing that the signatures of the municipal social welfare in the RIS and Acceptance slip “were all forged to make it appear that the MSWDO had requested and accepted the rice and goods.”
The documents also indicated that the purchase of relief goods “was not made to the purported suppliers” mentioned but only to an individual named Allan Ty, according to Diño.
When the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) investigated the case, the accused officials were found “cover[ing]up the crime by making Ty reimburse to the provincial government.
Although the funds were returned to Isabela’s treasury, Diño said this would not let Dy and the others off the hook.
Diño, at the same time, hit former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales for closing the investigation.
“For over three years, the Ombudsman has slept on the case, despite the submission by the complainant of overwhelming testamentary and documentary evidence,” he said. DEMPSEY REYES 2018-10-13