Solon in Graft Case gets P35-M Pork
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar—At least P35 million of public funds has been released as pork barrel of a legislator in this province who is currently on trial at the Sandiganbayan for a P16-million graft case involving the purchase of supplies without public bidding.
At least P11 million of the amount released as pork to Milagrosa Tan, former governor of Samar and now representative, has been supposedly spent on road repairs for villages in this city that, a village chief said, appeared to be nonexistent.
As early as February this year, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already released P35 million in public funds for Milagrosa’s pork, or half of what she is supposedly entitled to in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) this year. PDAF is the official name of pork for legislators.
Milagrosa, a member of the ruling Liberal Party whose term limit as governor expired in June so she changed places with her daughter, Sharee Ann, ordered the release of P11 million purportedly for road repairs in at least two villages here.
The chief of a village that was supposed to benefit from the projects, however, said he had not seen any ongoing road repair project in his place.
Sharee Ann is now governor and her brother, Stephen James, is vice governor of this province, one of the country’s poorest.
In 2006, Milagrosa was charged with graft for the purchase of supplies worth P16 million without public bidding. Some of the funds used were meant to help survivors of a storm in the province and some of the money ended up being spent on appliances, like electric fans. The case is pending at the antigraft court Sandiganbayan.
Records at the DBM showed that Milagrosa was able to get P35 million in public fund.
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, Calbayog City
, Eastern Visayas
, Road Repairs