Ombudsman probes Abdullah Dimaporo

By Jess Diaz, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 24 2014 03:40 AM | Updated as of May 24 2014 11:40 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman is investigating incumbent Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte, who is under hospital arrest for a malversation case pending with the Sandiganbayan.

Ombudsman prosecutors Anabelen Estrada-Ronquillo and Maribel Mariano-Beltran have asked the House of Representatives for Dimaporo’s personal data sheet, service record and oath of office in 2004.

The House, after determining that the prosecutors’ request was a “proper exercise of jurisdiction” of the ombudsman, directed its personnel division to furnish the documents.

It is not clear if the prosecutors sought the documents in connection with the Sandigan case or another criminal complaint.

Aside from malversation of public funds, Dimaporo is facing a charge for violating the anti-graft law. The right to bail is not available in the malversation case.

 Dimaporo is under hospital arrest at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center. The STAR was able to verify this yesterday amid reports that the lawmaker, who was arrested in August last year, was moved to Fort Sto. Domingo where alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles was held.

The Sandiganbayan Second Division records show that no order to transfer the accused has been issued and pending motions, including a petition for bail, are yet to be resolved.

Government prosecutors and private complainants earlier questioned the congressman’s continued stay at the posh private hospital where he is allegedly enjoying privileges, as against the case of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who is being held in a government hospital.

The charges against Dimaporo arose from the purchase and delivery of 10,000 bags of Saka organic fertilizer worth P5 million under the farm inputs and farm implements program of the Department of Agriculture through the Lanao Foundation Inc., which the lawmaker formed in 1994.

The ombudsman said that Dimaporo faked the delivery receipts for the fertilizer.

His co-accused are former provincial agriculturist Isabelo Luna and Felizardo Dragon, Evangeline Ontiveros, Rosalinda Bisenio and Elmer Sayre, who are private citizens.

The fertilizer transaction is one of numerous projects that constituted the P728-million fertilizer fund scam allegedly orchestrated by then agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante in 2004. – With Michael Punongbayan