Ombudsman orders DOST to implement dismissal of 3 TRC execs

MANILA-- Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to implement the dismissal from service of Technology Resource Center (TRC) officials Belina Concepcion, Marivic Jover and Consuelo Lilian Espiritu.

This after they were found guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service due to their involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam of former Davao del Sur Rep. Marc Douglas Cagas IV and his father, former congressman and now Davao del Sur Gov. Douglas Cagas.

Aside from the dismissal, they were also meted the accessory penalties of cancellation of civil service eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from holding public service.

In the event that dismissal can no longer be enforced due to severance from office, the same shall be converted into a fine equivalent to their one-year salary.

The charges arose from the findings of the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) that Gov. Cagas received Php 16 million as part of his PDAF allocation, which he illegally channeled to the Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic and Development Foundation, Inc. (CARED) and the Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI).

CARED and PSDFI are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) controlled by co-accused Janet Lim Napoles.

Napoles is the alleged "brains" behind the Php 10-billion pork barrel and the Php 900-million Malampaya Fund scams.

Probe found that Cagas IV misappropriated his Php 6-million PDAF allocation in 2008 through the Farmerbusiness Development Corporation (FDC).

Both lawmakers used the TRC as conduit of their scheme, allegedly receiving kickbacks amounting to Php 5.5 million and Php 9.3 million, respectively, through Zenaida Ducut.

Concepcion, et al, along with the Cagases and other co-accused, are also facing criminal charges of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act", malversation, direct bribery, and corruption of public officials under the Revised Penal Code (RPC) before the Sandiganbayan.

Source: Philippines News Agency