Youth, student groups file plunder raps vs agri chief
MANILA, Philippines – Youth and student leaders have filed plunder charges against Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with his alleged involvement in the biggest corruption scandal in recent Philippine history.
The group filed the 13-page complaint on Wednesday, June 25, accusing Alcala of “systematic plunder of government resources” under Republic Act No 7080 or the Anti-Plunder Law.
“The youth can’t wait any longer for the government to throw the books against administration allies also involved in the pork scam,” said Youth Act Now! national convenor Victor Villanueva, one of the petitioners in the case.
Villanueva accused the Aquino administration of dragging its feet on pursuing charges against its allies and Cabinet members allegedly involved in the scam, which Palace officials have denied.
“We in Youth Act Now! believe that Malacanang is intentionally dragging its feet on cases against said cabinet members, so we decided to take the initiative and start filing formal charges against President Aquino’s allies,” he said.
Villanueva said his group will file a plunder case against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad in the next few days.
The petitioners cited Alcala’s alleged involvement in the “misuse” of over P36.025 million (US$820,000) of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) which was transferred to non-governmental organization Economic and Social Cooperation for Local Development Foundation Inc during his term as Quezon Representative.
They accused him of playing a part in the transfer of P39 million (US$888,400) of public funds to the bogus NGOs of alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles during his term as agriculture chief.
The petitioners cited as primary evidence for the plunder charges the Commission on Audit’s Special Audit Report on PDAF use, and the sworn affidavit of Napoles on May 26, 2014.
The other petitioners from Youth Act Now! are Jerome Flores, and Ezekiel Jacob Carinan; University of the Philippines Student Regent Neil John Macuha. They are joined by Katipunan Kontra Korupsyon convenor Eduardo Gabral, and Benedict Opinion and Ryan Christian Vergara Lintao, student representatives of the UP College of Mass Communications and College of Science, respectively.
The others are Einstein Recedes of the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, Vencer Mari Crisostomo of Anakbayan, Charlotte Velasco of the League of Filipino Students, Marc Lino Abila of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and Sarah Jane Elago of the National Union of Students of the Philippines. – Rappler.com