Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday commended the members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who arrested two executives of a Cebu-based construction firm who allegedly pocketed P6-million worth of foreign donations for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
“I commend the efforts exerted by our NBI agents involved in this case for their arrests of the respondents. Now we can make the wheels of justice move faster,” Aguirre said.
Engr. Desiderio Estinozo and Nestro Lehetemas were nabbed in Malate, Manila on Monday midnight by members of the Anti-Fraud Division of NBI armed with a warrant of arrest issued by the Davao City regional trial court on charges of estafa.
Based on the report submitted by NBI to Aguirre, the two allegedly stole €100,000 or a total of P6 million by hacking the email addresses of the Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas or PhilDHRRA, a network of non-government organizations (NGOs), and Fundacion InteRed, a Spanish NGO.
The justice department said the suspects “were able to cause an amendment to the Memorandum of Agreement to facilitate a change in the banks involved in the fund transfer arrangement from the bank account of PhilDHRRA to the account of DTE Construction and Development Corporation in Cebu City” owned by Estinozo.
PhilDHRRA is a national network of NGOs involved in raising funds for the rehabilitation of the typhoon Yolanda-affected areas. InteRed provided the funds for PhilDHRRA’s projects involving livelihood recovery and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure in selected affected barangays in the Municipality of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
The project aims to repair and rehabilitate damaged schools, day care and health centers and capacity building interventions in three barangays in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
Aguirre also took a swipe against the alleged perpetrators, saying ‘taking advantage of the suffering of others’ is ‘deplorable’ and should not be tolerated. He added they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“There is no place in our society for people who take advantage of the sufferings of others. To make money out of a calamity is very deplorable and should not be tolerated. These alleged perpetrators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the laws,” Aguirre said.