Napoles NGOs got P2.1B in ‘pork’ – COA

 

MANILA, Philippines – At least 10 non-governmental organizations “presently linked” to fugitive Janet Lim-Napoles received a total of P2.157 billion in pork barrel between 2007 and 2009, a special state audit showed.

This was among the findings of a special audit of lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which Commission on Audit (COA) chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan presented in a press conference Friday, August 16.

The years covered the last 3 full years under the administration of President Gloria Arroyo – from 2007, when the mid-term elections were conducted, to 2009, before the presidential elections that Benigno Aquino III won.

The special audit took two years to complete.

The COA report also showed that at least P6.156 billion in pork barrel from 12 senators and 180 representatives were released to 82 questionable NGOs.

COA audited P12 billion of the P101.6 billion released by the budget deparment. Of the P12 bilion, half was found to have been misused.

A third of the questionable PDAF releases were cornered by Napoles’ NGOs.

Some legislators also had their PDAF transferred to 6 NGOs where their relatives were incorporators.

Not a new name

Included in the COA special audit were 3 departments and 4 government-owned and controlled corporations that got the bulk of PDAF releases.

These implementing agencies were the Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The GOCCs audited were the National Agri-Business Corporation (Nabcor), National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC), and the ZNAC Rubber Estate Corporation (ZREC).

Among GOCCs,  the ones that got the most releases were the TLRC and  NLDC.

The agriculture department put its PDAF in Nabcor and ZREC.

The cities chosen for audit were the ones that received the biggest funds from lawmakers. The provinces and the regions where they are located – in Regions 3, 5, and 11 – are where the DA, DSWD, and DPWS spent the most, Tan said.

Tan said that when the latest PDAF controversy was exposed in the media, COA had completed its special audit of the pork barrel. The subsequent reports only validated their findings.

"It's providential," the COA chief said.

Tan pointed out that Janet Lim-Napoles' name is not new to PDAF controversy. It surfaced in the investigation into the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.

"Lumabas ang pangalan ni Napoles doon. May notice siya of disallowance. Jo-Chris Trading ang pinakalamalking supplier," she said. (Napoles' name surfaced [in that probe]. There was notice of disallowance to Jo-Chris Trading, which was the biggest supplier [of fertilizers].)

A check of businesses registered under the Napoleses shows no company named Jo-Chris Trading but a Jo-Chris Communications Inc, which engaged in communication supplies and equipment. It was formed in 2003, a year before the fertilizer scam, and was shut down in 2006, a year before the Senate probe was conducted.

COA will post the special audit report on its website at 3 pm Friday. – Rappler.com 

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