Corruption news: ₱101.6 billion Pork Scandal in the Philippines involves 200 lawmakers; 12 Senators, 180 Congressmen from 2007-2009

 

KAHINDIK-HINDIK: Commission on Audit head Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan holds a copy of a special report by government auditors on how senators and congressmen used their pork barrel between 2007 and 2009 during a press briefing yesterday.  BOY SANTOS

At least 12 senators and around 180 congressmen, through the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), funneled 6.156 billion in pork barrel funds to 82 questionable non-government organizations (NGOs) from 2007 to 2009.

Download: Full COA report on PDAF use

Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan, baring the results of a two-year special audit yesterday, said 10 of the dubious NGOs had links to controversial businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, while six had links to sponsoring lawmakers through relatives.

Tan mentioned that there were only 12 senators, but the 135-page COA report mentioned 15.

Among congressmen who are normally allotted from 30 million to 70 million a year for projects they earmark for implementation, one – Manuel "Way Kurat" Zamora of Davao del Norte's 1st District who is now Compostela vice governor  – received some P3 billion, Tan told a news conference.

The DBM even released 20 million in Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) or the pork barrel to a nonexistent or "ghost" lawmaker, a certain Luis Abalos.

From 2007 to 2009, 74 lawmakers exceeded their pork barrel allocations by hundreds of millions. Each senator gets 200 million a year in PDAF.

Congressmen were found to have used their pork barrel for projects outside their legislative districts. COA auditors uncovered grossly deficient projects, dubious beneficiaries and the use of questionable receipts.

Tan said state auditors, following up the listed addresses of dubious NGOs, found shanties, condominium units and expensive private residences.

The COA chief refused to name names, but the report linked to questionable fund releases are:

  1. Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile
  2. former senator Edgardo Angara
  3. former senator Juan Flavier
  4. former senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr.
  5. Manuel "Manny" Villar
  6. Juan Miguel Zubiri
  7. Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
  8. Francis Pangilinan
  9. Rodolfo Biazon
  10. Alan Peter Cayetano
  11. Jinggoy Estrada
  12. Gregorio Honasan
  13. Lito Lapid
  14. Miriam Defensor-Santiago
  15. Ramon "Bong" Revilla.

Enrile has said his signature was faked on a document wherein he is requesting the release of funds to a questionable NGO.

Related story: Pork beneficiaries' names randomly taken from exam passers lists

From 2007 to 2009, the COA validated 32 billion of about 101.6 billion that was released by the DBM for soft projects nationwide, 12 billion for hard or infrastructure projects, and 2.36 billion for financial assistance to local government units (LGUs) and budgetary support for government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).

The special audit covered the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC), National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC), National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR), and the Zamboanga del Norte Agricultural College Rubber Estate Corp. (ZREC).

The probe also covered the city governments of Mandaluyong, Manila, Quezon City, Taguig, Las Piñas, Tabaco, Iriga, Naga and Panabo; and the provincial governments of Tarlac, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

Tan said the agencies were selected for audit based on the magnitude of releases to them as gleaned from the National Expenditure Program (NEP).

"A total of P6.156 billion was transferred by the agencies to 82 NGOs. This came from the PDAFs of 12 senators and around 180 representatives," she declared, citing the audit team's findings.

"Ten of the NGOs, which received a total of P2.157 billion, are presently linked to Janet Lim Napoles. Six other NGOs, on the other hand, which received a total of P189 million, were found to have included the legislators whose PDAF was transferred to the NGO, or a relative, as incorporator (or) officer," Tan said.

About 1.393 billion went to infrastructure projects funded from the VILP (Various Infrastructures including Local Projects) component of the PDAF, from the allocations of three senators and six congressmen.

Releases to LGUs for soft projects, on the other hand, amounted to 2.034 billion, funded from the allocations of 14 senators and about 33 congressmen identified from the records of the audited agencies, and some others who were not identified.

DBM failure

Citing the audit report's findings, Tan said the DBM failed to efficiently monitor and keep proper records of the fund releases of each legislator. The DBM could not provide a complete schedule of releases despite repeated requests.

"The commission thus relied on records of the agencies themselves, and documents obtained from the DBM. These showed that 74 legislators significantly exceeded their respective allocations, with several by hundreds of millions, and one by almost 3 billion," she said.

The COA report also bared that funds were released for projects outside the legislative districts of sponsoring congressmen. There were no endorsements from the supposed recipient agencies, in violation of the DBM's own rules.

There was also no assessment of the agencies' capabilities to implement the projects, which means the releases were made essentially at the behest of the sponsoring legislators.

Implementing agencies, Tan noted, simply transferred the funds to the NGOs identified or selected by the legislators. This runs counter to the rules of the Government Procurement and Policy Board.

No bidding

"Even assuming the existence of appropriation or ordinance, the NGOs were not selected through competitive bidding as required by the resolution. The agencies merely relied on the endorsement of the legislators, some of whom denied their participation or signatures in letters and documents," Tan said.

"The agencies barely monitored the projects, if at all. Nonetheless, some agencies charged a management fee of about three percent of alleged project cost," she added.

Tan said the projects were found to be "grossly deficient in many ways, casting doubt on whether they were carried out at all, much more in the magnitude claimed by the NGOs."

Many of the NGOs were found to be "of dubious existence," she said – "either unknown or could not be found at their given addresses, or have given non-existent addresses, or were traced to mere shanties or high-end residences, which turned out to be the residences of their owners/officers."

There was no public bidding for the NGOs' multibillion-peso procurements and many suppliers were the same for most of the groups.

"Some purported suppliers denied transacting with the NGOs, or confirmed for much lesser amounts. Some were also without business permits or not registered with the (Securities and Exchange Commission), issuing dubious receipts, and were managed or owned by the same persons," Tan said.

Split contracts

To evade auditing rules, contracts were split into smaller ones. Around 90 projects were found to be either not utilized or fully utilized, or in a state of deterioration.

Auditors found that 54 projects costing 161.5 million were constructed on private lots without any document showing the turnover of the properties to the government.

Financial assistance and other charges in the local governments' disbursements, amounting to 1.29 billion, involved several procurements that did not comply with the procurement law. Transactions were denied by purported suppliers, or else the suppliers were of dubious existence. Goods purportedly procured could not be accounted for.

Recommendations

Tan said the COA issued a host of recommendations, including the issuance by the DBM of specific and stringent guidelines on the utilization of PDAF and the participation of NGOs.

The COA also recommended that legislators limit their participation in the PDAF to identification of projects, and ensure that the projects are eligible under the terms and provisions of the General Appropriations Act.

Congressmen were urged to limit project coverage within their respective districts or sector.

On NGOs, she said the COA could only recommend their blacklisting and the immediate investigation of all persons involved for the filing of appropriate administrative and criminal charges.

with report from philSTAR

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15 comments:

  1. putangenanyo mamamataynakayomga corrupt!

    ReplyDelete
  2. God exposes these leaders because He is about to pour out blessings and prosperity in our country Philippines. Praying God will replace God fearing honest leaders to lead our country. Excited for my country!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I could hardly believe that this is happening in our country. I do not know how could these guilty people stomach and so greedy for what they did knowing that there are million of our kababayans barely enough bring food on the table for their family.

    ReplyDelete
  4. For what is happening in our country about the "PORK BARREL", I suggest for the citizens to rise up and demand justice in front of the Congress and Senate Buildings.

    ReplyDelete
  5. August 26, I million people protest in Luneta... to OFW.. inform your family in the Philippines to join.. we must stop this kid of shameful practices.. jail these Senators and Congressmen... Abolish Pork barrel. Matagal na itong isinisigaw ng mga kababayan natin ngayon lang ito napakingan

    ReplyDelete
  6. I hope the name of the senator and congressman in this scandal should resign on their position.

    ReplyDelete
  7. BOYCOTT GOVERNMENT TAXES. ORGANIZE ONE MILLION PROTESTS ON AUGUST 26 IN ALL MAJOR CITIES IN THE WHOLE ARCHIPELAGO. REPEAT PROTESTS IF NECESSARY. PRAY!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Philippines is very rich country, very rich with corrupt government officials.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Pakatapos na ibinato ng lahat kay Marcos na Magnanakaw sa Bansa, at napatalsik dahil sa kagahaman sa posisyon, ngayon naglabasan ang tutuong MABABAHO at MAGNANAKAW sa bansa. at least lahat ng mga nagawang Projects ni Marcos pinakikinabangan parin hanggang ngayon, bumagsak at pinakamahirap na bansa na ngayon ang pilipinas pagkatapos makuha ang minimithing posisyon. GUMISING KAYO KABABAYAN, KAILANGAN NATING SUMIGAW SA 26 AUGUST 2013. TAMA NA SOBRA NA !!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. NAKAKASUKA NA KAYO MGA HAYUP KAYO... PAGSISIHAN NINYO ANG ARAW NA IPINANGANAK KAYO MGA PUNYETA.... SASAYAW SAYAW AT KAKANTA PA KAYO AT DADALA PA NG MGA ARTISTA SA PANGANGAMPANYA DAHIL ANG AKALA NINYO MGA BOBO AT MADALING MAUTO ANG MGA BOTANTE NINYO... PUWES HINDI LAHAT... PA PIRMA-PIRMA PA KAYO LABAN KAY CORONA PERO KAYO MAS MASAHOL PA MGA HINAYUPAK KAYO... PAPATAYIN KO KAYONG LAHAT PAG-NAKITA KO KAYO...

    PUTANG-INA NINYO MARAMI PA KAYO SA GOBYERNO NA HINDI NABABALITA PERO SANGKOT DIN KAYO... 200 LANG? AT MULA 2007 HANGGANG 2009 LANG? PARANG SINASABI NINYO NA WALANG KINALAMAN DITO ANG ADMINISTRASYON NI AQUINO... KUNG HINDI LANG SA WHISTLE BLOWER NI NAPOLES HINDI ITO MABUBUNYAG MGA PUNYETA KAYO AT TULOY-TULOY LANG ANG LIGAYA NINYO PUNYETA!!

    MGA HAAAYYUUUUPPP KAAAYYOOOOOO!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. ang lahat na mga pangalan dyan ipasok nyo sa utAK nyo na sa sunod na halalan hwag nyo silang iboto...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Let those law-makers who are lawbreakers themselves rot in hell....sana Lord, God inanod sila kasama ng matinding baha sa talamak na pagnanakaw nila sa kaban ng bayan.....tamaan sana kau ng kidlat kasama pati mga pamilya ninyobg nakinabang sa nakaw ninyong yaman sa mga taong bayan....imbis na imprastraktura sa bawat distrito ninyo ang paglalaanan ng pork barrel pinili ninyong nakawin ito para sa pansarili ninyong kapakanan na dulot ay matinding kahirapsn sa taong bayan tulad ng baha....sana kau na lng ang binaha.....calling all the akyat-bahay gangs and hard core criminals and hitmen to eliminate this hoodlum law-makers from the face of the earth...mawala na sana kayong mga hinayupak kayung iniluklok ng mamayan para pagsilbihan ang taong bayan peto bagkus magnanakaw kayo ng kaban ng bayan

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kelangan ng ma-ameindahan ang konstitusyon ng tuluyan ng mapuksa ang lehislatura pinammugaran ng mga magnanakaw cum mambabatas.gawing parlyamentaryo ang sistema ng gobyerno .... tanggalin ang suspensyon ng death penalty at isalang sa karayom ng kamatayan ang mga magnanakaw na mga senador at kongresista.... wag hayaang makialam ang simbahan dshil sils mismo ang hadlang para umusad ang bansa at ngbbigay ideya ng kurapsyon sa bansa
    ... dapat kamay na bakal ang pauralin ni Penoy sa mga magnanakaw ng bansa isama na pati ang dati g administrasyon ni Arroyo

    ReplyDelete
  14. Damned members of the Congress go to hell

    ReplyDelete
  15. PUWEDE PO BANG WALANG MAGMUMURA DITO SA MGA COMMENT NINYO? ANG MAG-MURA EH PANGIT

    ReplyDelete

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