(Eagle News) — The Ombudsman has indicted several high-ranking officials during former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term, and against Janet Lim Napoles in connection with the P900-million Malampaya fund scam.
Napoles, former Agrarian Reform secretary and now Masui City, Lanao del Sur Mayor Nasser Pangandaman; and former Budget secretary and incumbent Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. were charged with 97 counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and 97 counts of malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents before the Sandiganbayan.
Also charged were former Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos; former Department of Agrarian Reform officials Angelita Villapa Cacananta, Narciso Nieto, Teresita Panlilio, and Ronald Venancio; and private citizens Jo Christine Lim Napoles, James Christopher Lim Napoles, Reynald Lim, Ruby Tuason, Rene Maglanque, Evelyn De Leon, Ronald Lim, John Lim, Paquito Dinso Jr., Gerald Apuan, Eulogio Rodriguez, Simplicio Gumafelix, John Raymund De Asis, Rodrigo Galay, Alejandro Garro, Napoleon Sibayan and Ma. Winnie Villanueva.
In filing the charges, the Ombudsman said it was Andaya who signed the Special Allotment Release Order and Notice of Cash Allocation for P900 million from the Malampaya fund even “prior to the review of DBM Budget and Management Bureau E Director Nora Oliveros and despite the latter’s observations on the lack of supporting documents.”
It was Pangandaman, the Ombudsman said, who made such a request.
In exchange for kickbacks, the money–which was intended for the relief of those affected by Tropical Storm Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng in 2009—was allegedly diverted to Napoles’ bogus non-government organizations through fake documents.