The Office of the Ombudsman ordered on Monday the filing of charges of malversation of public funds and graft against a Lanao del Sur official for misuse of P10 million for a ghost project in 2011.
Jamaloden Faisal, acting general manager of the Tugaya Water District, was accused of misappropriation of P10 million for the construction of a water supply system in Tugaya, Lanao del Sur.
Named as co-respondent was Alikahn Ebrahim of Nascon Builders.
In January 2011, Faisal received P10,074,680 as part of the initial funding for the water supply improvement project.
According to the fact-finding investigation conducted by the Ombudsman field investigation unit, the water project was non-existent, and that fake liquidation documents were submitted by respondents to support the ghost project.
A joint affidavit of inspection was also submitted by the team of investigators from the National Bureau of Investigation stating that “the reservoirs funded by the Local Water Utilities Administration are inexistent, based on the development map and detailed cost estimate of the project.”
“The firm was not involved in the project,” a Nascon Builders representative attested.
“The fact that the water supply improvement project is non-existent is sufficient proof to engender a well-founded belief that public funds were misappropriated for respondent Faisal’s own private use or benefit,” the Ombudsman’s resolution read.
Meanwhile, a week after filing a criminal case against a deceased Mt. Province lawmaker, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said on Monday “that the death of a party to a case is not among the matters that her office is mandated to take notice of.”
She said that the Ombudsman is not expected to know or take notice of the death of an accused without proper manifestation from his counsel.
Morales invoked Section 1 of Rule 129 of the Revised Rules of Court, which applies to the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman, adding it is the duty of the party’s counsel under Section 16, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court to inform the court promptly of such death.
On Aug. 1, the Ombudsman filed a graft case against Rep. Maximo Dalog with the Sandiganbayan in connection with the anomalous purchase of a Mitsubishi L-300 van when he was then a governor in 2006.
Also charged were ex-provincial accountant Theodore Marrero; ex-health officer Nenita Lizardo; ex-nurse Helen Macli-ing; ex-bids and awards committee chairman Paulo Pagteilan; ex-BAC members Lily Rose Kollin, Florence Gut-Omen, Edward Likigan and Soledad Theresa Wanawan; ex-budget officer Jerome Falingao, a member of the BAC’s technical working group; ex-executive assistant Abdon Imingan of the BAC secretariat; ex-technical inspector Abelard Pachingel, and private respondent Ronald Kimakim of Ronhil Trading.
Despite Dalog’s case dismissal due to his death last June, Morales said the case against the other respondents stays.
“Borrowing the words of the Supreme Court in People v. Henry T. Go (GR. No. 168539, March 25, 2014), the Office of the Ombudsman emphasized that the death of Dalog does not mean that the allegation of conspiracy between [his co-accused] can no longer be proved or that their alleged conspiracy is already expunged,’” she added.