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CDO Ex-lawmaker says he is innocent

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Following his conviction along Janet Napoles and several others over the P10 billion pork barrel scam by the Sandiganbayan, former congressman Constantino Jaraula said Saturday he is innocent of any wrongdoing.
Jaraula said he will file a motion for reconsideration to reconsideration to Sandiganbayan.
Jaraula, 83, who served as this city’s congressman for three terms from 1998 to 2007, insisted he has no participation in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
Napoles was said to be the mastermind of the PDAF scam where public funds were pocketed in cahoots with senators and members of the House of Representatives and other public officials and private individuals.
The former legislator said he was not involved in the pork barrel controversy, but recalled he was dragged into the scandal when he proposed three projects for his district shortly before his last term as congressman ended.
In 2007, during his last six months in office, Jaraula said he submitted three project proposals to the House of Representatives’ appropriations committee for the acquisition of two ambulances with x-ray and dental equipment, two mechanical dryers, and farm implements.
The appropriations committee then endorsed the project proposals to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which in turn approved and recommended it to the Technology Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC), now known as Technology Resource Center, he said.
He said there were three special allotment release orders (SAROs) for the projects, with P10 million each project.
Jaraula said his proposed projects did not push through, but were replaced with seedlings and fertilizers, the supporting documents of which were not signed by him.
Upon learning that his projects did not materialize, the former lawmaker said he sent an anonymous complaint to the Commission on Audit, on advice of a lawyer, believing that some powerful people in government might be involved.
He said COA was able to trace the complaint back to him.

Jaraula said he has not taken any part in the PDAF scam as he believed that the documents that implicated him were forged.

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