Arthur Yap

Ex-lawmakers, Arthur Yap charged over PDAF misuse

After more than a year of fact-finding, criminal and administrative charges are slapped on 3 former lawmakers and the former agriculture secretary over the pork barrel scam

EndFragmentArthur Yap charged over PDAF misuse

After more than a year of fact-finding, criminal and administrative charges are slapped on 3 former lawmakers and the former agriculture secretary over the pork barrel scam

MANILA, Philippines – Three former lawmakers, along with former Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, were slapped with criminal charges for the misuse of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel totaling P163.2 million.

The Office of the Ombudsman announced on Thursday, October 2, the malversation and graft complaints dated September 23 against former Congressmen Prospero Nograles, Candido Pancrudo Jr, and Thomas Dumpit Jr.

The Ombudsman Field Investigation (FIO), which conducted the fact-finding probe prior to the filing of the complaints, alleged the projects funded by the 3 ex-lawmakers' PDAF were not implemented.

State investigators found that the 3 repeatedly endorsed and allowed the allocation of their PDAF to projects of non-profit foundations. The projects turned out to be fictitious.

Named as their co-accused were various officials of state-owned corporations, where their PDAF was coursed, and officers of the NGOs that were listed as recipients of their PDAF.

The FIO charged Nograles, as then caretaker-Representative of the First District of Misamis Oriental, for over P47.5 million in illegally disbursed pork barrel from 2007 to 2009.

In a statement released to the media, Nograles said, "I am not aware of any investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman as I have not received any notice or formal communication from them. No comment. Am retired and now a private citizen and not public property!"

Nograles served as House Speaker under the presidency of now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, also facing a plunder charge. (READ:Gov't: Arroyo allowed 'patent irregularity' in PCSO plunder)

He took over the post of Misamis Oriental Representative Danilo Lagbas, who died in 2008. Included in his charge sheet for both criminal and administrative charges are Lagbas' former chief of staff Jennifer Karen Lagbas and former