MANILA—Five executives of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) were ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged involvement in the misuse of PHP3.8-million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
NCMF Secretary/Commissioner Mehol Sadain, Director III Galay Makalinggan, Acting Chief Accountant Fedelina Aldanese, Acting Chief Aurora Aragon-Mabang and cashier Olga Galido were found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. They were also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
In case of separation from the service, the penalty is equivalent to the respondent’s one year salary.
The NCMF officials are also facing trial before the Sandiganbayan charges for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, for the anomalous utilization of the PDAF of the then Maguindanao Rep. Simeon Datumanong.
An in-depth probe found that in May 2012, the Department of Budget and Management issued a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) covering PHP3.8 million in favor of the NCMF, as implementing agency, charged against Datumanong’s PDAF.
The money was intended to finance livelihood programs such as soap making, candle making and meat processing for the municipalities of Mamasapano, Ampatuan and Datu Abdullah Sanki, all of Maguindanao province.
To facilitate the fund utilization, Datumanong requested that the PHP3.8 million be coursed through the Maharlikang Lipi Foundation, Inc. (MLFI), as a non-government organization-partner.
Upon audit, the Commission on Audit (COA) found that the selection of the NGO did not undergo public bidding.
In the ruling, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said that “respondents participated in the preparation, processing and approval of the Memorandum of Agreement and the PDAF documents governing the project implementation and fund releases to MLFI.”
Morales added that “the funds in question could not have been transferred to the MLFI if not for the recommendations as well as certifications, approval, and signatures found in the corresponding disbursement vouchers and checks.”(