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MANILA – Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano and his wife Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano are facing plunder and graft charges before the Ombudsman.

In three complaints filed by the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Civil Liberties (PAACL), the lawmaker was accused of allegedly illegal accumulation of wealth and misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or “pork barrel” fund.

Mayor Cayetano and members of the city council were charged with plunder for allegedly using P313 million in public funds in hiring “ghost employees” in 2012.

PAACL President Roderick Vera described the hiring of casual employees prior to the 2013 elections unbelievable, noting that real estate developer Ayala Land Inc., with its extensive operations nationwide, has only 199 employees.

The Cayetanos and the other members of the city council were also facing another graft and corruption charge arising from the alleged overpriced purchase of 18 multicab, low-class vehicles in 2012 for P500,000 each which was more than the cost of branded units.

Vera said the senator reported an “abnormal” increase in his net worth from P15.8 million in 2010 to P23.2 million in 2011.

He said the substantial increase in the senator’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) cannot be justified as his income as public servant is only P420,000 annually with his nine business enterprises reporting either losses or “no operation.”

Vera said the increase in Cayetano’s net worth could have come only from PDAF misuse, financing ovepriced and ghost projects like barangay firebuster and tricycles that were not supported by requests from end-users. (Jun Ramirez, Tempo)