Ombudsman orders dismissal of 5 officials of Muslim-Filipino commission

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2017 07:37 PM

MANILA — The Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of 5 executives of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) after they were found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service over the allegedly anomalous use of the P3.8-million Priority Assistance Development Fund (PDAF).

Ordered dismissed were NCMF commissioner Mehol Sadain, director Galay Makalanggay, acting chief accountant Fedelina Aldanese, acting chief Aurora Aragon-Mabang, and cashier Olga Galido.

The administrative case stemmed from former Maguindanao congressman Simeon Datumanong's PDAF, which is intended to finance livelihood programs such as soap-making, candle-making and meat-processing for the municipalities of Mamasapano, Ampatuan and Datu Abdullah Sanki.

NCMF was the implementing agency, while Maharlikang Lipi Foundation Inc. was the partner non-government organization.

But the Commission on Audit found that the foundation was chosen without public bidding, thus violating the auditor's selection rules.

The Ombudsman said the dismissed NCMF officials participated in the preparation, processing and approval of the memorandum of agreement and the PDAF documents governing the project implementation and fund releases to the foundation.

"The funds in question could not have been transferred to the MLFI if not for the recommendations as well as certifications, approval, and signatures found in the corresponding disbursement vouchers and checks," the Ombudsman's decision read.

"[There was] extraordinary accommodation extended to MLFI in the examination, processing and approval by the concerned NCMF officers of the PDAF releases as show by the unnumbered and undated disbursement vouchers; and issuance of check prior to execution of the Memorandum of Agreement."

The dismissed officials have been perpetually disqualified from holding public office, and will have to pay fines equivalent to their annual salaries in case of separation from the service.