Foundation exec convicted over pork barrel scam

The Sandiganbayan First Division on Sunday disclosed that an executive director of the Dr. Rodolfo A. Ignacio Sr. Foundation Inc. has been found guilty of graft and malversation of public funds charges.

The charges come as the foundation’s executive director — identified as Rolleo Ignacio — was allegedly involved in the
multi-million pork barrel scam in 2007.

In its decision, the Sandiganbayan said that Ignacio violated Section 3(e) of the
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code and was ordered to return P9.6 million to the government.

He was also sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.

The anti-graft court disclosed that Ignacio controlled and operated the DRAISFI, the non-government organization that then-Malabon lawmaker Federico Sandoval endorsed as a “project partner” in implementing livelihood and development projects for the barangays in the lone district of Malabon-Navotas, funded by his P10-million Priority Development Assistance Fund.

According to the court’s verdict, the P9.6 million was illegally channeled to DRAISFI as the implementing agency of Sandolval’s
PDAF-funded projects, despite the foundation being uncredited and unqualified to carry out the projects.

While Ignacio received a sentence of up to 18 years in prison and was instructed to pay a P9.6 million fine for the sum malversed, criminal charges against his co-accused, former Technological Resource Center director general Antonio Ortiz was ordered to be archived pending his arrest.

Ortiz is still at large, and the court does not have any way to enforce its jurisdiction over him.

He was accused of conspiracy for entering into a memorandum of arrangement with Sandoval and DRAISFI without the benefit of public bidding as required by law, thereby granting Ignacio unwarranted benefits and advantage to the tune of P9.6 million.

It was Ortiz who allegedly facilitated and processed the disbursement of the PDAF release and approved the same by signing disbursement voucher as well as the issuance of LandBank check in the aggregate P9.6 million to DRAISFI, without having carefully examined and verified the accreditation and qualification of the foundation and the supporting documents, the Sandiganbayan said.

“Taken together, the records weave a tapestry of circumstantial chain of evidence that enabled Ignacio, a private individual, to siphon public funds, by conniving with Ortiz, a public official, without utilizing the same for the project’s implementation and thus, causing undue injury to the government,” the 60-page decision read.

Read more Daily Tribune stories at:

Follow us on social media
Facebook: @tribunephl
Youtube: TribuneNow
Twitter: @tribunephl
Instagram: @tribunephl
TikTok: @dailytribuneofficial