MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) together with the Sandiganbayan ordered an arrest warrant to Lanao del Norte Second District Representative Abdullah Dimaporo at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in Greenhills, San Juan City on Monday for graft and corruption of public funds involving the P728-million fertilizer scam in 2004.
Dimaporo, former provincial agriculturist Isabelo Luna, Felizardo Dragon, Evangeline Ontiveros, Rosalinda Bisenio and Elmer Sayre were involved in the conspiracy of releasing government funds for 10,000 bags of Saka Organic fertilizer under the Farm Inputs and Farm Implementation program of the Department of Agriculture.
Judicial Officer Romulo Barrozo served the arrest warrant against Dimaporo then took his fingerprints, mug shots and personal information.
Dimaporo’s lawyers presented a doctor’s recommendation to the Sandiganbayan thus allowing him to temporarily stay in the hospital because of his condition after suffering chest pains and acute myocardial infraction or a mild heart attack few days before his arrest.
The anti-graft court had ordered a no bail for the charges against Dimaporo for the alleged ghost delivery of fertilizers to a non-government organization (NGO) in 2004, but the graft case is bailable with of P30,000 that his lawyer eventually paid.
The alleged falsification of fertilizer transaction is one of the P728-million fertilizer fund scam initiated by former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante in 2004 for the campaign of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The Sandiganbayan gave government lawyers 10 days to file a comment on Dimaporo’s arrest and has scheduled another hearing on Aug. 26, 2013.
Dayanara L. Brazil
Leyte Normal University