By Perfecto Raymundo
MANILA, 11Oct2013 (PNA) – Former Iloilo congressman and erstwhile Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Augusto “Buboy” Syjuco, Jr. Friday filed before the Office of the Ombudsman criminal charges against Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and his wife Batanes Rep. Henedina Abad in connection with alleged questionable release of hundreds of millions of funds.
In two separate complaints, Syjuco asked Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to prosecute the three respondents for plunder, violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and order their preventive suspension.
Based on the complaint, Drilon allegedly gave P70 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund for the Iloilo Esplanade I project.
“Adding altogether the construction of the retaining wall, slope protection, landscaping and amenities to complete the Iloilo Esplanade I is overwhelmingly incredible. This P70-million Iloilo Esplanade I project is absolutely a windfall to the pocket of respondent Franklin Magtunao Drilon,” the complaint said.
Syjuco said while the Esplanade has been furnished and equipped with lighting, interlocking block pavement and landscaped with ornamental plants, another P13.5-million PDAF was allocated by Drilon for its improvement in August 2012.
“Obviously, the hasty allocation of another P13 million from PDAF of respondent Drilon under the guise of the Esplanade project is a scam to fund a non-existent project,” he said.
In a separate complaint, Syjuco said, Drilon, together with the Budget Secretary and his wife should be prosecuted for plunder and violation of the Anti-Graft Law for the questionable release of P752.5 million to Mrs. Abad which is 10 times her regular pork barrel allocation for the lone district of Batanes.
He said it was released upon the approval of Drilon who was then chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
In return, Syjuco said, Budget Secretary Abad provided for the release of P1.010 billion as “incentive” to the senators who voted to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona.”
“Hence, it is respectfully requested of this Honorable Office to immediately order the preventive suspension of all respondents and to conduct the necessary action on the matter leading to the immediate filing of the necessary administrative and criminal cases as the evidence warrants,” he said. (PNA)