By Rey Panaligan
The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed a ruling of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) that ordered the dismissal of a former official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for illegal disbursement of P8 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Quezon City Rep. Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo.
Affirmed was the dismissal of former DSWD assistant secretary Vilma Cabrera who was found guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service in an administrative case resolved by the OMB.
The 2017 OMB ruling also ordered the dismissal of two other DSWD officials — former undersecretary Mateo Montano and former assistant director Pacita Sarino. Their petitions challenging the OMB’s ruling had been dismissed by the CA last year.
In the case of Cabrera, the CA found that her petition has no merit to reverse the OMB’s ruling.
“Facts and circumstances surrounding this case would show that there were irregularities surrounding the release and use of the subject PDAF,” the CA said.
Case records showed that Crisologo asked the Department of Budget and Management in 2009 to release more than P8 million in PDAF funds for the Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS) program with the DSWD as the implementing agency.
The funds were released to a non-government organization identified as Kaloocan Assistance Council, Inc. (KACI).
During investigation, the OMB found that there were no free medical or dental mission conducted by the National Children’s Hospital for KACI in 2009.
It was also found that documents such as receipts were falsified to support the alleged implementation of the program.