Bohol Rep. Arthur Yap said he will take legal steps to clear his name as he asserted his innocence in a graft case that the Ombudsman will file against him and former Nueva Ecija Rep. Rodolfo Antonino in connection with the implementation of a Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) project when Yap was still agriculture secretary.
Yap, who was secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) during the former Arroyo administration, pointed out in a statement that he did not commit any act of graft or malversationâ€”as claimed by the Ombudsmanâ€”because he had, as required by law, merely transferred ex-Rep. Antoninoâ€™s PDAF allocation at the DA to another government agency tasked to implement the former solonâ€™s identified project.
He said he will fight the case because his transfer of lawmakers’ PDAF allocation to another government office which implemented the project cannot be considered as graft.
Yap pointed out that, the transfer of funds was legal and he is innocent of any wrong doing as he merely transferred government funds from one government office to another government office.
Congressman Yap also clarified that he did not transact with any foundation or NGO for the implementation of any project and his participation was merely to transfer funds as he was required to do so by law.
It’s like the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) transferring funds to other government agencies and that does not make the DBM secretary accountable and liable for the implementation of all projects of all the government agencies it transferred funds to.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales bared on Tuesday that she had ordered the filing of two counts of graft and two counts of malversation against Antonino in connection with a PDAF-funded purchase of livelihood training kits for the NGO-beneficiary Buhay Mo Mahal Ko Foundation Inc. (BMMKFI). These kits were supposedly acquired from the C.C. Barredo Publishing House.
Also facing charges for the same case, according to Morales, are Yap and other DA officials along with BMMKFI and Barredo Publishing executives.