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Housing official in extort case kicked out of govt

Thursday, July 31, 2008 [ manilatimes.net ]

Nestor Favila, the former special projects head of the National Home and Mortgage Finance Corp., who was found guilty for grave misconduct in April, will finally pay the price for his acts after the Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday sought his expulsion from government service.

Acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro ordered Favila’s expulsion from government service since the former housing official was found to have extorted money from Nais Homeowners Association Inc. members Jovita Sobrevilla, Leonila Betacora, Florante Padua and Ernesto Jimenez.

Further investigations revealed that Favila also asked for P500,000 that he claimed will be given to the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), of which the mortgage agency is under, to fast-track the approval of the association’s P10-million loan application.

Favila served the mortgage agency under the chairmanship of Vice President Noli de Castro’s good friend, Celso Angeles. Angeles, however, didn’t last a year in office.

De Castro, also the housing body’s chairman, cited Favila’s case as a stern warning against government employees engaging in graft practices.

“Unscrupulous individuals do not belong in the government service. I will not allow anybody to defeat the noble objectives of the housing sector,” de Castro said.

Operatives from the housing agency and the National Bureau of Investigations caught Favila in an entrapment operation on June 24, 2005, while accepting P85,000 worth of marked money.

“I will never tolerate corruption in the housing sector for as long as I am at the helm of HUDCC,” de Castro said during Favila’s arrest. -- Llanesca T. Panti

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