Nograles faces graft, malversation raps over PDAF scam

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2017 11:59 AM | Updated as of Mar 07 2017 02:55 PM

Former Speaker and Davao Rep. Prospero Nograles. File Photo.

The Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday has ordered the indictment of former Speaker and Davao Rep. Prospero Nograles for graft and malversation thru falsification of public documents.

The cases against Nograles stemmed from the P47.5 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of the late Misamis Oriental Rep. Danilo Lagbas released from 2007 to 2009.

At least P47.5 million was allotted for livelihood projects for the first district of Misamis Oriental, but beneficiaries said they did not receive livelihood technology kits and materials, grafted seedlings, hand tractors and water pumps.

Nograles was implicated in the case as the former House Speaker was assigned to take care of the first congressional district of Misamis Oriental when Lagbas died in 2008.

Also ordered indicted are Nograles' Chief of Staff Jennifer Karen Lagbas and Chief Public Affairs Officer Danilo Jamito, Allan Javellana, Encarnita Cristina Munsod, Romulo Relevo, Ma. Julie Villaralvo-Johnson, Rhodora Mendoza of NABCOR, Gondelina Amata, Evelyn Sucgang, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Ofelia Ordoñez, Sofia Cruz of NLDC, Antonio Ortiz of TRC, Dennis Cunanan, Marivic Jover and Ma. Rosalinda Lacsamana, Marilou Antonio, Godofredo Roque, Maria Paz Vega, Marilou Ferrer, Rodrigo Doria, Flerida Alberto, Miraflor Villanueva, Melinda Guerrero and Carmelita Barredo.

Meanwhile, Nograles' camp is set to file a motion for reconsideration before the Sandiganbayan Tuesday.

"These allegations are obviously without basis. The documents that they are using as evidence are fake and their narratives don't even match vis-a-vis their timelines. This resolution is based on wrong premises," Nograles said in a statement.

The former lawmaker said evidence such as Special Allotment Release Orders (SARO) involved in the case were dated while Lagbas was still alive.

Nograles said other documents used in the case were signed while he was "in Saudi Arabia for a diplomatic mission."

"How can one be in two places at the same time? I was in Saudi Arabia and I have all the documents including photos to prove this when the Ombudsman claimed that I signed the allegedly anomalous PDAF documents," he said.

The former Speaker dismissed the charges as politicking and urged his critics to "leave him alone" as he is "no longer interested in any government position.