MANILA, July 1 (Mabuhay) — The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to file graft, malversation, and direct bribery charges against Energy Regulatory Commission chief Zenaida Ducut and five former members of the House of Representatives.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan announced that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales recently signed a resolution finding probable cause to file charges against Ducut, former Reps. Rodolfo “Ruffy” Biazon (Muntinlupa), Marc Douglas Cagas IV (Davao Del Sur), Ariel Olaño (Davao Del Norte), Rodolfo Valencia (Oriental Mindoro), and Arthur Pingoy Jr (South Cotabato).
The resolution stemmed from the second batch of complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against several lawmakers in connection with their alleged misallocation of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel to the fake foundations supposedly owned by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Napoles is also named as co-accused of Ducut and the five former lawmakers in all the cases.
Morales said the resolution is not yet executory as the respondents may still file their motions for reconsideration.
Also indicted along with Ducut and five former lawmakers, according to Rafanan, are other officials of the ERC, Department of Budget and Management, Technology Resource Center, National Agri-Business Corporation, and officials of government implementing agencies that had allegedly served as conduits for the misuse of PDAF.
Meanwhile, Ombudsman Morales said the indictment of Ducut (an administration ally) and Biazon (a member of the ruling Liberal Party) “… is an argument to the criticism that we are enforcing selective justice.”
She said more cases may be filed with the Sandiganbayan in connection with the pork barrel scam soon. (MNS)