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Ombudsman charges ex-TESDA chief Syjuco with graft

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 11/14/2017 Marchadesch, Barbara
Augusto Syjuco © Provided by GMA News Online Augusto Syjuco

The Office of the Ombudsman has charged former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) chief Augusto Syjuco Jr. of graft over the alleged anomalous purchase of farm inputs in 2004 during his term as Iloilo representative.

Based on the case information, Syjuco is facing one count of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when he and his co-accused tapped Tawo Kag Duta sa Kauswagan Cooperative as non-government organization-partner for the procurement of farm inputs in Alimodian, Iloilo.

The purchase worth P5 million was part of the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani Program of the Department of Agriculture and was covered by the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act.

Other respondents named in the case are then-Alimodian vice mayor Ramon Anino; municipal councilors Ireneo Mondero, Emmanual Adricula, Aquiles Cabaluna, Miguel Ambong, Geefre Alonsabe, and Job Almacen; and municipal agriculturist Roberto Alcudia.

The Ombudsman accused the public officials of conspiring with private respondents Timoteo Salvilla, Edgardo Comoda, and Corazon Taladua, all of whom are executives of the NGO, when the municipal council passed a resolution authorizing the late Alimodian mayor Bernardo Ambut to purchase the farm inputs.

The Ombudsman said the memorandum of agreement entered by Ambut and the NGO officials violated the first MOA with DA designating the local government as the implementing agency of the project.

The anti-graft body added that the MOA deviates from the Commission on Audit requirements which states that all NGOs need to be accredited by the agency before it can enter any MOA with the government.

A P30,000 bail bond has been recommended in the case.

Aside from this, Syjuco is facing graft and malversation charges over the alleged use of P4.3-million worth of public funds to finance his poultry business, unauthorized awarding of P79.9 million worth of TESDA scholarship vouchers, and the purchase of P9 million of books without public bidding. — BM, GMA News

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