MANILA—Former Cagayan de Oro City representative Constantino Jaraula was charged in the Sandiganbayan of 2 counts of graft and a count of malversation for a P3-million fertilizer contract from 2003 to 2004.
In information approved by then-Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on May 2, Jaraula conspired with then Department of Agriculture officials — namely regional technical director Jose Quitazol Sr., committee on accreditation chairman Antonio Rosal, regional executive director Eduardo Lecciones Jr., budget officer Maria Reina Lumantas, accountant Claudia Artazo, assistant regional director Martino Cajita, regional technical director Joel Rudinas and city agriculturist Godofredo Bajas.
Also charged in the alleged conspiracy were private individuals from the Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc. (PDSFI), a non-government organization linked to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles: president Evelyn De Leon and officials Annabelle Luy, Maria Fe Escabarte, Jose Ardias, Gertrudes Kilapkilap, Henry Bucalin and Luzviminda Bucalin.
According to the Office of the Ombudsman, PDSFI was given “unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference” when it was accredited and issued disbursement vouchers for the fertilizer project when there was no proof of receipt by farmer beneficiaries.
There was also alleged failure to comply with Commission on Audit Circular No. 96-003, or the guidelines on the release of funds to NGOs, as well incomplete submission of documents.
PDSFI supposedly does not have enough resources as it mainly relies on donations, contrary to the requirement that fund assistance should not be its only source of funds, “which is unmistakably inimical to the interest of the government.”
The Ombudsman recommended that the amount of bail bond for Jaraula for all the charges be set at P100,000 while the others who are facing one count of graft and one count of malversation be required to pay a P70,000 bond.
Jaraula was also one of the congressmen charged by Morales in the first set of pork barrel scam cases involving Napoles in 2015.