Third District Rep. Arthur Yap hit the flip flopping stance of the Ombudsman on the PDAF cases.
Yap pointed out that in a similar PDAF case involving another congressman, he was declared innocent by the Ombudsman.
Last week, the Ombudsman filed charges against former Misamis Occidental Rep. Marina Clarete and 31 others, including Rep Yap, at the Sandiganbayan for their alleged involvement with seven ghost projects allegedly “allowing dubious foundations to pocket P62.63 million in PDAF funds as stated in a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Yap was implicated in one of the seven projects and named co-accused with two counts of graft, and one each for malversation, and malversation through falsification- -accusations which he denied.
“The Ombudsman wants me held liable for a PDAF case of a legislator even if they have found me innocent in two very similar PDAF cases. They found me innocent because I never transferred a single centavo of PDAF to any NGO. Why the sudden change in their position I do not know.”
This was the statement issued by former agriculture secretary and now Bohol Third District Representative Arthur C. Yap.
Yap has been charged by the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan together with former Misamis Occidental 1st Dist. Rep. Marina Clarete for one single act of transferring the latter’s PDAF to NABCOR, a government owned and controlled corporation.
This sole act, done in 2009 during his term as Agriculture Secretary, was previously ruled by the Ombudsman in two other PDAF cases as legal, found him innocent, and acquitted Yap in both cases.
Dismayed by this sudden flip flopping of the Ombudsman’s decision despite the similarity of facts involving these cases, Yap has filed the appropriate motion in the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the case for lack of probable cause.
Upon an examination of the complaint filed by the Ombudsman, it seems apparent that Yap is being implicated solely by the reason of his act of representing the DA in executing the DA-NABCOR0MOA and, NABCOR. Apart from such single act, no other act is attributed to him in relation to the disbursement and utilization of Clarete’s PDAF allocation.
“What illegal act did I commit? I merely transferred the legislator’s PDAF to another government agency attached to DA. I never transacted any PDAF with any NGO. I acted within the law and cannot be held liable as I was also previously not held liable,” he added.
OTHER AGENCIES, NGOS ACCUSED
Clarete was charged with 18 counts of graft, seven counts of malversation, and 11 counts of the complex crime of malversation through falsification for diverting her pork barrel funds to seven ghost projects and allowing dubious foundations to pocket P62.63 million.
The dubious foundations charged included: “Kabuhayan at Kalusugan sa Masa Foundation:, Baker’s Foundation, and Aaron Foundation, Phils. Inc.
Implicated were some senior officers of the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR), National Livelihood Dev Corp (NLDC) and the Technological Resource Center or TRC.