Sandiganbayan raffles off P900-M Malampaya Fund scam case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 8) — The Sandiganbayan said on Friday that its 3rd Division will handle the cases against 25 people allegedly involved in getting kickbacks from the ₱900-million Malampaya Fund.

On December 1, the Ombudsman filed at the anti-graft court 97 counts of graft and 97 counts of malversation against former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) officials, as well as representatives of non-government organizations (NGOs). They include:

  1. Former Budget Secretary Rolando Aureo Andaya, Jr.
  2. Former Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos
  3. Former Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman
  4. Former Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Narciso Nieto
  5. Former Agrarian Reform Director Teresita Panlilio
  6. Former DAR Chief Accountant Angelita Cacananta
  7. DAR Chief Administrative Officer Ronald Venancio
  8. Former Candaba Mayor Rene Maglanque
  9. Ruby Tuason
  10. Janet Lim Napoles
  11. Jo Christine Napoles
  12. James Christopher Napoles
  13. Reynald Lim
  14. Evelyn De Leon
  15. Ronald Francisco Lim
  16. Ronald John Lim
  17. Eulogio Rodriguez
  18. Simplicio Gumafelix
  19. John Raymund De Asis
  20. Rodrigo Galay
  21. Alejandro Garro
  22. Paquito Dinso, Jr.
  23. Gerald Apuang
  24. Napoleon Sibayan
  25. Metrobank Branch Manager Winnie Villanueva

On December 2016, the Ombudsman found probable cause to file charges against them after they allegedly "acted in concert to divert the fund releases drawn from the P900 million Malampaya fund allocated by the DBM to the DAR in 2009, which was malversed and coursed through the NGOs controlled by Napoles."

Read: Ombudsman charges 25 individuals for P900 million Malampaya Fund scam

Under Presidential Decree 910, the Malampaya Fund is a special fund to finance the government's energy resource exploration, development and exploitation programs and projects and such other purpose as may be directed by the President.

It is collected from the government's share in royalties, rentals, production share on service contracts and other payments on the exploration, development and exploitation of energy resources.

Records from the Office of the Ombudsman show that Andaya requested the release of Malampaya funds to aid victims of typhoons "Ondoy" and "Pepeng."

According to the Ombudsman, the fund release was based on 97 requests by mayors.

The funds, however, were allegedly entrusted by the DAR to NGOs registered and owned by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles' relatives, friends, household helpers, children's nannies, drivers and other employees.

Napoles also faces plunder charges for her involvement in the pork barrel scam, where an estimated ₱10 billion in lawmakers' discretionary funds were allegedly lost after being coursed through her NGOs, with the money going into the pockets of Napoles and lawmakers.

Meanwhile, in January 2017, the Ombudsman dismissed Panlilio and Venancio from government service due to grave misconduct.

CNN Philippines Senior Digital Producer Fiona Nicolas and Correspondent AC Nicholls contributed to this report.