Ombudsman files corruption charges against MMDA officials

Ombudsman files corruption charges against MMDA officials

- Former MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando and five other MMDA officials will face graft charges filed by the Office of the Ombudsman

- A special audit found irregularities and anomalous transactions involving the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) funds handled by Fernando and the other MMDA officials

- The MMFF fund scam amounts to P24.2 million

Former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando and five other MMDA officials are being accused by the Office of the Ombudsman for the anomalous use of Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) funds amounting to P24.2 million.

The Ombudsman has already ordered the filing of graft charges against Fernando and five other MMDA executives. They include MMDA Director Leonila Querijero, Assistant General Manager Edenison Fainsan, Consultant Rolando Josef, General Manager Robert Nacianceno and Chief Revenue Officer Cleofe Ablog.

“The respondents’ conspiratorial act of authorizing and approving the irregular payments and expenditures depleted the funds of the MMFF thereby causing it undue injury,” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said.

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Ombudsman files corruption charges against MMDA officials

Former MMDA Chairman Baayani Fernando. Photo by mrcheapjustice.wordpress.com

The charges to be filed are based on the allegedly anomalous transactions found through a special audit conducted by the Commission on Audit which includes a P1.6-million birthday cash gift for Fernando, P11.8-million worth of expenses for cultural projects, and a P10.8-million cash incentive for the chairman and the MMFF Executive Committee members.

The special audit also found irregularities in the MMFF funds such as a lack of official receipts for the supposed cultural projects, the absence of duly-approved payrolls for the monetary incentives, and the issuance of checks for the monetary incentives on a pay-to-cash basis using the name of Ablog.

Fainsan and Querijero were also found guilty of Grave Misconduct which dismissed them from the service and permanently disqualified them from holding any public office, getting retirement benefits and taking the civil service examination. Fernando was the MMDA chairman from 2002 to 2009 and is the newly-elected First District Representative of Marikina City. He ran for vice president in the 2010 elections but lost to Jejomar Binay.

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