NBI recommends prosecution of gov't execs over SARO falsification

By Edu Punay, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 07 2014 09:12 AM | Updated as of Feb 07 2014 05:12 PM

MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has finished its fact-finding inquiry into the alleged falsification of special allotment release orders (SAROs) issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said the NBI submitted its report on Jan. 29.

She said the bureau has recommended the prosecution of some officials, but did not give details pending a review of the recommendations.

De Lima earlier confirmed that the NBI is looking into possible involvement of DBM Undersecretary Mario Relampagos in the SARO scam.

She said some of Relampagos’ staff, including his secretary, driver and janitor, had been tagged as members of the syndicate.

Relampagos has submitted a statement to the NBI and denied any involvement in the scam.

NBI probers have also verified that the SAROs for two projects in Cagayan and Aklan provinces worth P161 million and P77 million, respectively, were falsified.

De Lima said the initial probe showed that DBM personnel led by a certain “supremo” and the staff of several congressmen were involved in the racket.

De Lima also revealed that evidence pointed to a consultant of Aklan Rep. Teodoro Haresco as the source of the two fake SAROs. Haresco is a former party-list representative.