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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Ex-lawmaker indicted for graft, malversation

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THE Office of the Ombudsman has indicted a former congressman of Eastern Samar for malversation and graft arising from his alleged role  in the “pork barrel”  scam in 2007.

Former congressman Teodulo Coquilla is facing two counts of malversation and violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 before the Sandiganbayan.

Also named as co-respondents were Alan Javellana, Encarnita Cristina Munsod, Ma. Julie Villaralvo-Johnson and Romulo Relevo of the National Agri-Business Corp., along with Gabay Masa Foundation officials Margie Luz and Ma. Cristina Vizcarra. According to the Ombudsman, Coquilla received P5 million as part of his pork barrel fund for the acquisition of instructional materials and seedlings in October 2007.

 To implement the project, Coquilla entered into a memorandum of agreement and chose NabCor as the implementing agency and GabayMasa as project partner.

The project called for the procurement of 32,887 calamundin, rambutan, chico and mango seedlings, and 10,470 instructional materials for his constituents in the towns of Dolores, Maslog, Jipapad, Lawaan and Guiuan.

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Documents showed Coquilla signed the certificate of acceptance and acknowledgment receipt for the project.

Gross violations of procurement rules were uncovered as the suppliers were unregistered business entities with non-existent addresses, the Ombudsman said.

A surveillance conducted by the Ombudsman’s field investigation office disclosed that the supplier of the seedlings was a garden shop engaged in the sale of rocks, pebbles, grass and landscaping services.

The supplier of the instructional materials was located in a residential area, and selling car batteries and wheel interiors.

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