Sandigan junks graft chages vs ex-DA Secretary

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Friday, June 13, 2014

THE anti-graft court has dismissed the P47.47-million graft case against former Agriculture Secretary Luis Ramon Lorenzo Jr. and former officials of Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corp. (Quedancor).

In the decision signed by Sandiganbayan First Division Presiding Judge Efren Dela Cruz, the court junked the case against Lorenzo and others due to lack of probable cause.

The involved the alleged anomalous implementation of the controversial Quedancor Swine Program (QSP), a credit program meant to support swine raisers in the country.

Also cleared in the case were Quedancor president and CEO Nelson Buenaflor and Board Members Wilfredo Domo-Ong, Romeo Lanciola, Nellie Ilas, and Jesus Simon.

Last November, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the filing of the charges before the ant-graft court after the Office of the Ombudsman found that the implementing company, Metro Livestock Inc., did not deliver to Quedancor borrowers supplies amounting to at least P47 million.

The program provides swine growers with supplies instead of giving them cash.

Morales questioned the absence of public bidding conducted when Metro Livestock, Inc., was chosen to implement the program that "resulted in damages" because Quedancor "lacked recourse against the suppliers for late deliveries and non-deliveries."

A public bidding would have required the suppliers to post a performance bond or contractor's surety bond.

Morales signed the resolution on July 12, 2013, finding probable cause to indict Lorenzo and the officials of Quedancor and Metro Livestock Inc.

Quedancor awarded Metro Livestock purchase contracts amounting to P48,606,750 in Mindoro province alone. Its paid-up capital was said to be only P62,500. (Sunnex)

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