Cagas faces graft, bribery raps over alleged pork kickbacks

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 13 2016 12:32 PM

MANILA - Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas will soon face graft, malversation and direct bribery charges over his alleged participation in the P10-billion pork barrel scam when he was congressman.

The Ombudsman said Cagas got P9.3 million kickbacks after diverting P16 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to the spurious non-government organizations of Janet Lim Napoles in 2007.

The public funds transferred to Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic and Development Foundation, Inc. (CARED) and the Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI) through the Technology Resource Center (TRC) were allotted for livelihood projects and technical assistance projects.

However, the investigating body found that no actual deliveries were made to the beneficiaries.

The Ombudsman said whistleblowers testified that Cagas received kickbacks through Zenaida Ducut.

Aside from this, PSDFI and CARED were found unqualified to handle the projects due to lack of accreditation, track record and experience. TRC officials also allegedly failed to conduct due diligence audit on the NGOs and suppliers to provide for the livelihood kits.

The Ombudsman found irregularities in the "unusual" approval of the disbursement vouchers, which only took one day.

"Cagas directly chose CARED and PSDFI, which were headed or controlled by Napoles and her cohorts, to implement his projects without the benefit of public bidding, and without being authorized by an appropriation law or ordinance," the Ombudsman resolution read.

Also ordered charged with graft and malversation are Napoles, Ducut, Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, Francisco Figura, Belina Concepcion, Marivic Jover, Maurine Dimaranan, Mario Relampagos, Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule, Marilou Bare, Mylene Encarnacion, Evelyn De Leon, and Eulogio Rodriguez.

Napoles also faces corruption charges.

Cagas' son, Marc Douglas, also faces pork-barrel scam cases at the Sandiganbayan. He was charged with graft and malversation last April for the questioned utilization of his P7.5million PDAF when he was also Davao del Sur representative.