‘Pork’ scam: 3 ex-TLRC officials get 28 years

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Three former officials of the abolished state firm Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) have been found guilty of misusing nearly P10 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of the late Negros Oriental congressman Herminio Teves in 2007.

In a 68-page decision released recently, the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division sentenced former TLRC officers Dennis Cunanan, Belina Concepcion and Marivic Jover to up to 10 years in prison for graft and a maximum of 18 years for malversation of public funds.

Also found guilty were Teves’ former chief of staff Hiram Pulido and Molugan Foundation Inc. (MFI) president Samuel Bombeo.

Teves was cleared of the charges due to his death in 2019.

The Sandiganbayan acquitted former TLRC executive Francisco Figura for lack of evidence.

Another former TLRC executive, Antonio Ortiz, was not meted any penalty as he remains at large.

The Sandiganbayan ordered the cases filed against Ortiz archived, to be revived upon his capture.

The anti-graft court has issued a warrant for his arrest.

The cases were filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017 after probers found that Teves, without public bidding, released P10 million of his PDAF allocation to the MFI for his livelihood projects for the poor.

The ombudsman said the MFI failed to implement the projects as it was incorporated only in 2007.

The Sandiganbayan also found that the former TLRC officials conspired with each other to allow Bombeo to take P9.6 million of the pork barrel funds.

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