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The Malampaya Fund Scandal involves P900 million proceeds and considered to be the biggest single contract cornered by Janet Lim Napoles

Former Philippine President, now Pampanga province 2nd District Representative and House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is cleared from liabilities in the P900 million Malampaya Fund scandal.

The Malampaya Fund Scandal involves P900 million proceeds and considered to be the biggest single contract cornered by Janet Lim Napoles since she began amassing government funds to dubious non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The Malampaya Fund consists of royalties collected from the operations of the Malampaya gas and oil fields in the waters off the province of Palawan.

Arroyo cleared from malampaya mess

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The Ombudsman’s recent decision was due to lack of evidence against Arroyo and this makes her third victory since July.

While the former chief executive was off the hook over the Malampaya Fund scandal, the Office of the Ombudsman, led by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, has approved the filing of criminal charges against Arroyo’s budget secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. and agrarian reform secretrary Nasser Pangandaman and 23 others.

The charges was based on the allegation that they have developed a scheme to divert the royalties collected from the operations of the Malampaya gas and oil wells, which was meant for agrarian reform beneficiaries affected by the devastation of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009.

Former Secretary Andaya is now a Camarines Sur congressman and also a Deputy Speaker, while Pangandaman is now mayor of Masiu in province of Lanao del Sur.

Malampaya gas and oil fields

The Malampaya gas and oil fields in the waters off the province of Palawan.

Former Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Narciso Nieto and former Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, along with Napoles, who is the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scandal, her children James Christopher and Jo Christine, and also former social secretary to former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Ruby Tuason, will also be included to those who will face charges to be filed before the anti-graft court, Sandiganbayan.

The indicted officials and individuals are facing double counts of plunder, 97 counts of malversation through falsification of public documents and another 97 counts of violation of section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for causing undue injury to the Philippine government and for giving unwarranted benefits to private parties.

However, the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause to 25 individuals is still subject to appeal.

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