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Ex-N.Cotabato lawmaker seeks dismissal of pork barrel scam charges

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Former North Cotabato Representative Gregorio Ipong has asked the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division to dismiss the graft and malversation charges against him over his alleged misuse of his pork barrel in 2007.

In his motion, Ipong pointed out, among the issues he raised, it took the Office of the Ombudsman 10 years before filing the charges at the Sandiganbayan last August 1.

Under the charges, Ipong is accused of carrying out ghost projects worth P4.9 million funded by his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

He is also accused of choosing the Aaron Foundation Philippines Inc. (AFPI) to implement the projects without the required public bidding.

The non-government organization (NGO) was also found not accredited to carry out the projects.

In his defense, Ipong pointed out his endorsement of AFPI does not constitute any crime and was part of his duties as a legislator.

He added the Commission on Audit (COA) circular which required public bidding in the selection of NGOs was not yet in effect when he identified AFPI.

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