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NBI nabs 2 accused of pocketing P6-M worth of ‘Yolanda’ aid

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested two persons who allegedly pocketed P6-million worth of foreign donations for victims of super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Engr. Desiderio Estinozo and Nestro Lehetemas were arrested in Malate, Manila around midnight Monday by members of the NBI’s Anti-Fraud Division. The two are subject of a warrant of arrest issued by the Davao City regional trial court on charges of estafa.

“I commend the efforts exerted by our NBI agents involved in this case for their arrests of the respondents. Now we can make the wheels of justice move faster,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Monday in a statement.

“There is no place in our society for people who take advantage of the sufferings of others. To make money out of a calamity is very deplorable and should not be tolerated. These alleged perpetrators will be prosecuted to the full extent of our laws,” he added.

Based on the report submitted by the NBI, the two allegedly pocketed 100,000 Euros or a total of P6 million by hacking the email addresses of the parties and changing the name of the banks involved in the fund transfer arrangements.

The funds were donations raised by the collaborative efforts of Philippine Partnership  for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas or PhilDHRRA. PhilDHRRA is a national network of NGOs involved in raising funds for the rehabilitation of the Typhoon Yolanda-affected areas and Spanish non-government organization Fundacion InteRed.

InteRed provided the funds for PhilDHRRA’s projects involving livelihood recovery and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure in selected affected barangays in the Municipality of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

The project aims to repair and rehabilitate damaged schools, day care and health centers and capacity building interventions in three barangays in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

The two allegedly changed the bank account from PhilDHRRA’s to the account of DTE Construction and Development Corporation in Cebu City owned by Estinozo. JE

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