Witness testifies on PDAF 'ghost' beneficiaries of former lawmaker

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2017 02:04 PM

MANILA - An election officer in Burgos, Surigao Del Norte testified Wednesday on the alleged existence of "ghost" beneficiaries who received priority development assistance funds of a former party-list lawmaker. 

Prosecutors presented election officer Liborio Zamora who is supposed to safeguard the voting records in Burgos and was interviewed by a field investigator of the Office of the Ombudsman in 2013. 

Zamora testified majority of the supposed PDAF beneficiaries are not included in the list of registered voters for 2013. 

"Out of 80 [supposed beneficiaries], only four have existing records," the official said. 

During the cross-examination, defense lawyers of former APEC party-list Rep. Edgar Valdez pointed out that not all qualified voters are in the list of registered voters. 

Two other witnesses, municipal agricultural technologist Dioscora Plandano and municipal agricultural officer Oscar Domiños, both said they are not familiar with the list. 

Plandano also said that she also doubts the supposed signature of their town mayor. 

The defense countered by asking if she had checked with the mayor and she said no. 

Valdez, along with alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, officials of the Technology Resource Center, National Agribusiness Corporation and the Department of Budget and Management are facing graft charges for the alleged misuse of the PDAF of Valdez worth 95 million pesos through bogus agricultural projects. 

Whistleblower Benhur Luy earlier said Valdez received "total commissions" worth P57,787,500 from Napoles from 2004 to 2010.