MANILA, Philippines— Fifty three individuals have been charged by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) with regard to the alleged anomalous handling of P119 million-worth of projects of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) projects in the Caraga region.
The charges were filed after a probe into the matter was conducted by a joint special investigation team ordered by President Benigno Aquino III to look into the NIA projects in Caraga.
Among those found in violation of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and RA 9184 or the Procurement Law were former NIA Regional Managers Modesto Membreve and Dexter Patrocinio, and current Caraga Regional Manager Encarnacion Soriano. The fifty others include NIA employees, contractors and private citizens.
CIDG spokesperson Chief Insp. Elizabeth Jasmin said that a probe into the NIA projects in Caraga, particularly those in Agusan del Norte, was ordered when allegations were brought to their attention that that the procurement and implementation of seven projects were anomalous.
Jasmin pinpointed the NIA irrigation projects in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte – which began in 2012 and was supposed to have been finished in 2013 – saying that the completion of the P119-million undertaking was delayed allegedly without valid cause.
“The funds were already released in early 2012 to the implementing NIA regional office in Caraga, but up to the present, the projects are still not finished,” she said.
Senior Supt. Rudy Lacadin, CIDG deputy chief for operations, also pointed out that the projects in question utilized materials of substandard quality.
“The projects have not been completed and were not done according to the prescribed specifications,” he said in an interview, adding that the projects were now being hastily completed because of the ongoing probe.
Three out of seven cases involving the anomalous projects were filed before the Ombudsman’s Office last Monday, The remainder will be filed before the end of the month.