3 other lawmakers in COA report could qualify for plunder

Reynaldo Santos Jr

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3 other lawmakers in COA report could qualify for plunder
If the 40%-50% kickback system is applied to the COA special audit report results, at least 4 former lawmakers will qualify for plunder. One of them, however, is already deceased.

MANILA, Philippines – With days to go before President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 28, only 3 Philippine senators have been detained for plunder charges in connection with the pork barrel scam.

Another look at the special audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA) reveals that if they are proven guilty, at least 3 additional personalities – 1 former senator and 2 former congressmen – may also meet the same fate as the 3 senators. Another congressman may also appear guilty based on the report, but he died in 2013.

A number of lawmakers – both current and former officials – were dragged into the country’s biggest corruption scandal in recent history. These lawmakers reportedly received kickbacks in exchange for allowing their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to be channeled to bogus non-governmental organizations (NGOs) controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

But so far, only Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon Revilla Jr have been charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman. This, despite the long list of lawmakers revealed in both the COA special audit report and the complaints filed before the Sandiganbayan.

Republic Act 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder) states that a public official can be charged with plunder if the accused has accumulated ill-gotten wealth amounting to at least P50 million. (READ: What’s the difference: Plunder, graft in PDAF issue?)

A look at the COA special audit report, which shows P6.156 billion of PDAF releases went to questionable NGOs, may provide leads on who else could be liable for plunder. After all, this report has been used as one of the bases for the filing of plunder charges against the 3 senators.

Earlier, whistleblower Merlina Suñas said in an affidavit that the distribution of commissions from PDAF was 50% to lawmakers, 5% to their chiefs of staff, 10% to the implementing agency, and 35% to Napoles. (READ: Navigating the PDAF scam affidavits).

Napoles herself also revealed in an affidavit that legislators received 40%-50% commissions from the alleged diversion of their PDAF.

Cross-referencing these details on kickback distribution with the COA report yields the data below. Grey cells indicate that the figures reached the P50 million-minimum amount for a plunder case.

According to the Ombudsman, Revilla got P224 million in kickbacks from the scam, followed by Estrada with P183 million, and Enrile with P172 million. (READ: 3 PH senators charged with plunder over PDAF scam)

The amounts of Revilla’s and Estrada’s kickbacks actually fall within the range in our document, as do Enrile’s commissions. The numbers approximate the equivalent amount of a 40%-kickback.

A look at the column for the minimum 40%-kickback shows that two other names surpass the P50-million mark for a plunder case: former senator Edgardo Angara and former Surigao del Sur representative Prospero Pichay Jr.

In the COA report, Angara was identified with 7 NGOs, while Pichay was identified with two. None of these NGOs are Napoles-related, however.

NGO Implementing Agency Total PDAF If Kickback is 50% If Kickback is 40%
Edgardo J. Angara
Kagandahan ng Kapaligiran Foundation, Inc. (KKFI) NABCOR 19,400,000 9,700,000 7,760,000
Kalusugan ng Bata, Karunungan ng Bayan, Inc. (KBKBI) DSWD-CO 14,000,000 7,000,000 5,600,000
Manila Seedling Bank Foundation, Inc. (MSBFI) Q.C. 1,000,000 500,000 400,000
Molugan Foundation, Inc. (MFI) TRC 9,600,000 4,800,000 3,840,000
READ Foundation, Inc. (RFI) DSWD-CO 81,550,000 40,775,000 32,620,000
Serbisyong Pagmamahal Foundation, Inc. (SPFI) Q.C. 500,000 250,000 200,000
The Assembly of Gracious Samaritans Foundation, Inc. (AGSFI) TRC 24,960,000 12,480,000 9,984,000
Prospero A. Pichay Jr.
Aaron Foundation Philippines, Inc. (AFPI) TRC 40,370,000 20,185,000 16,148,000
Philippine Environment and Economic Development Association (PEEDA) TRC 29,400,000 14,700,000 11,760,000

Angara was with the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) party, while Pichay belonged to Lakas Kampi CMD party.

After they were identified in the COA report, Angara claimed that his PDAF-funded projects were for real and not fake, while Pichay said he wasn’t approached by Napoles for his pork barrel.

On the other hand, a look at the column for the maximum 50%-kickback shows two more names who exceeded the P50-million plunder mark, besides Pichay and Angara: former Malabon-Navotas representative Alvin Sandoval and former Sarangani representative Erwin Chiongbian.

In the COA report, Sandoval was identified with 6 NGOs, one of which is associated with Napoles: Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc (Pang-FI).

NGO Implementing Agency Total PDAF If Kickback is 50% If Kickback is 40%
Pangkabuhayan Foundation, Inc. (Pang-FI) TRC 6,900,000 3,450,000 2,760,000
Community Resource Center (CRC) DSWD-CO/NCR 30,000,000 15,000,000 12,000,000
Dr. Rodolfo A. Ignacio, Sr. Foundation, Inc. (DRAISFI) TRC 4,500,000 2,250,000 1,800,000
Gintong Pakpak Foundation, Inc. (GinPFI) DSWD-NCR 32,400,000 16,200,000 12,960,000
Jacinto Castel Borja Foundation, Inc. (JCBFI) TRC 18,000,000 9,000,000 7,200,000
Kaloocan Assistance Council, Inc. (KACI) DSWD-CO 20,000,000 10,000,000 8,000,000

Sandoval, who was under the Lakas Kampi CMD party, was ousted by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal’s (HRET) after a poll recount. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision just 2 months before the 2010 elections.

Chiongbian, on the other hand, was connected with 5 NGOs, with 4 of them linked to Napoles – Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development (CARED) Foundation Inc, Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc (MAMFI), People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc (POPDFI), and Social Development Program for Farmers Foundations Inc (SDPFF).

NGO Implementing Agency Total PDAF If Kickback is 50% If Kickback is 40%
Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development (CARED) Foundation, Inc TRC 27,840,000 13,920,000 11,136,000
Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Inc. (MAMFI) NLDC 27,888,000 13,944,000 11,155,200
People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation, Inc. (POPDFI) TRC 4,500,000 2,250,000 1,800,000
Social Development Program for Farmers Foundations, Inc. (SDPFF) NABCOR 38,073,000 19,036,500 15,229,200
Farmerbusiness Development Corp (FDC) TRC 5,400,000 2,700,000 2,160,000

Chiongbian, who also belonged to the Lakas Kampi CMD party, died of liver cancer in 2013.


Apart from the COA report, Angara was also identified in the list of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which was reportedly copied from the hard drive of Luy provided by his parents to the broadsheet. (READ: FACT-CHECK: Making sense of the Napoles lists)

Pichay also appeared in the Inquirer list, as well as in the list which was part of the new affidavit submitted by the Napoles camp on May 26.

Chiongbian was mentioned in all the 4 so-called “Napolists,” while Sandoval wasn’t mentioned in any of them. (READ: FACT-CHECK: House of Representatives and the ‘Napolists’)

A more thorough investigation will, however, be needed to fully prove the involvement or innocence of these lawmakers. – Rappler.com

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