Ombudsman finds probable cause to rap 25 individuals on Php900-M Malampaya fund scam

The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to file plunder and graft charges against 25 individuals in connection with the alleged Php900-million Malampaya Fund scam.

The Ombudsman ordered the filing of two counts of plunder, 97 counts of graft and 97 counts of malversation thru falsification over the Malampaya fund scam against the 25 respondents.

It found probable cause to file plunder and graft charges against former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr.

However, the Ombudsman dismissed the charges against former President and now House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo due to insufficiency of evidence.

Likewise, the charges against former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and DAR's Dominador Sison Jr. and Nila Baui were also dismissed.

Also named respondents were Winnie Villanueva, Angelita Cacanta, Ronald Venancio, Rodrigo Galay, Alejandro Garro, Paquito Dinso, Jr., Gerald Apuanh, Napoleon Sibayan, Evelyn de Leon, Ronald Lim, Eulogio Rodriguez, Simplicio Gumafelix, John Raymund de Asis, Ruby Tuason, Janet Lim Napoles, Jo Christine Napoles, James Christopher Napoles, Reynald Lim, former DAR Undersecretary Narciso Nieto, Director Teresita Panlilio, former Candaba, Pampanga Mayor Rene Maglanque, former DBM Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and former DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman.

The Ombudsman said that Tuason said her brother Remy's contact in MalacaAang was Atty. Jesus Santos. Santos allegedly helped in the release of the Malampaya funds.

Tuason admitted cooperating with Janet Lim Napoles to facilitate fund release.

The Ombudsman also refused to grant Ruby Tuason's request for immunity because her statements only points to Napoles' liabilities.

The Ombudsman added that Tuason has admitted receiving Php242.775 million in kickbacks.

It said the former officials of the DBM and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) conspired with non-government organization (NGO) representatives in illegally disbursing Php900 million Malampaya funds in 2009.

The Ombudsman said the Malampaya funds were malversed and coursed through NGOs controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and for which huge kickbacks and commissions were paid.

Napoles is the alleged brains behind the Php10-billion pork barrel and the Php900-million Malampaya Fund scams.

Source: Philippines Information Agency