Ex-Iloilo Rep. Syjuco charged with graft at Sandiganbayan » Manila Bulletin News

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Ex-Iloilo Rep. Syjuco charged with graft at Sandiganbayan

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By Czarina Nicole Ong

Former Iloilo Rep. Augusto Limcaco Syjuco Jr. has been charged with one count of graft before the Sandiganbayan First Division for being partial to a cooperative even though it was not an accredited partner of the government.

Facade of Sandiganbayan building in Quezon City (Manila Bulletin file photo)

Facade of Sandiganbayan building in Quezon City (Manila Bulletin file photo)

Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Rachel T. Cariaga-Favila wrote in the charge sheet against him that Syjuco violated Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when he gave unwarranted benefits to the Tawo Kag Duta sa Kauswagan Cooperative back on May 12, 2004.

A Sangguniangbayan resolution was passed that day authorizing the late Bernardo Ambut, then the mayor of the municipality of Alimodian, to enter into an agreement with the cooperative to implement the P5 million fund allotted for the purchase of farm inputs and farm implements under the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

A memorandum of agreement was then executed, designating the cooperative as the implementing non-governmental organization for the  program of the municipality.

However, Cariaga-Favila wrote in the charge sheet that this move was “substantially deviating from the April 30, 2004 MOA with DA, where the municipality of Alimodian was designated as the implementing agency.”

The move was also done without the DA’s knowledge and consent, and without regard to the requirements enumerated by the Commission on Audit on the accreditation of a non-governmental organization or people’s organizations before it can enter into a MOA with the government.

As a result, Syjuco’s actions allowed the cooperative to implement the GMA program and disburse government money without first passing the accreditation process.

He was charged alongside former vice mayor Ramon Anino, Sangguniang Bayan members Ireneo Mondero, Emmanuel Adricula, Aquiles Cabaluna Jr., Miguel Ambong, Geefre Alonsabe, Job Almacen, Roy Almonares, and Roberto Alcudia.

The cooperative’s executive director, Timoteo Salvilla and members Edgardo Comoda and Corazon Taladua were likewise charged.

Their bail bond has been set at P30,000 each.

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