The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) charged a former congressman and several others with graft and corruption before the Office of the Ombudsman for the alleged illicit transfer of P56 million in money designated for the government’s anti-poverty program.
According to lawyer Giselle Garcia, spokesperson for the National Bureau of Investigation, Quezon City 2nd District Representative Precious Hipolito Castelo, five members of her staff, and two officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) are also facing an administrative case filed on November 7. (NBI).
Former DoLE secretary Silvestre Bello III asked the NBI to examine suspected anomalies in implementing the Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, which led to the allegations.
Inspector Garcia stated that the NBI interrogated witnesses who claimed they were recruited by coordinators from Hipolito’s office. Castelo’s
At least 300 persons submitted sworn documents in which they said they were assured that they would become TUPAD beneficiaries “as long as they refund a substantial portion of the income they will receive.”
One recipient of the TUPAD program is entitled to a monetary benefit of P7,518. The witnesses reported that they were instructed to repay P6,000 to the coordinators.
NBI files graft charges vs. former QC lawmaker
Garcia stated that the alleged coordinators from Hipolito-office Castelo’s also assured the “ghost beneficiaries” that they were no longer required to work, provide daily time records, or sign contracts.
The NBI official stated that their identities would only be used for the TUPAD scheme.
Garcia stated that according to the testimony of the witnesses, the P6,000 was collected by the coordinators and sent to the office of Hipolito-Castelo.
TUPAD is a community-based aid package that gives people who have lost their jobs, are underemployed, or are only in the workforce during certain times of the year temporary labor for ten to thirty days, depending on the nature of the activity. The TUPAD beneficiaries’ wages are routed through a money remittance service to ensure uniform application across all locations in terms of mechanics and service fee charges.
In this case, a DoLE regional director and field officer were listed as co-respondents.
Although the beneficiaries did not sign any contracts or DTRs, they still authorized the transfer of financial rewards to these individuals, Garcia stated.