Agencies confirm transfer of PDAF to fake NGOs

Rappler.com
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee continues to investigate the pork barrel scam, a system of kickbacks for lawmakers and public officials.

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee continues to investigate the pork barrel scam, a system of kickbacks for lawmakers and public officials. Subsidiary agencies of the Agriculture Department are in the hot seat, revealing some of the scam’s complex layers.

Ayee Macaraig reports.

BAM AQUINO
PHILIPPINE SENATOR
Kasama ka o naloko ka? (Were you part of the scam or were you fooled?)

SALVADOR SALACUP
FORMER ZREC HEAD
Yes, naloko po. (Yes, I was fooled)

ALAN JAVELLANA
FORMER NABCOR PRESIDENT
Yes, naloko rin kami. (Yes, we were also fooled.)

TG GUINGONA
PHILIPPINE SENATOR
Naloko na! (It’s a mess.)

The pork barrel scam unravels this time subsidiary agencies of the Agriculture Department come under fire.
Former heads of the National Agribusiness Corporation or NABCOR and ZNAC Rubber Estate Corporation or ZREC face the Senate Thursday admitting their agencies transferred lawmakers’ development funds to fake NGOs linked to Janet Napoles.
Former NABCOR and ZREC officials confirm what the Commission on Audit told the Senate a week ago.

RHODORA MENDOZA
FORMER NABCOR VP FOR FINANCE
I am very sure of the 3 senators: Revilla, Estrada and Enrile.

SALVADOR SALACUP
FORMER ZREC HEAD
Cong Valdez, Cong Velarde, Sen Estrada, Enrile, Revilla coursed PDAF thru ZREC.

The lawmakers are not the only ones in a bind.
Former NABCOR president Alan Javellana and former ZREC head Salvador Salacup say they approved the NGOs based on mere documents and did not check their offices or the actual project implementation.
Senators say this violates the procurement law and COA circulars.

FRANCIS ESCUDERO
PHILIPPINE SENATOR
Based on endorsement, hook line and sinker, pasok na, go na yun? (Based on endorsement, hook line and sinker, that passed and it’s a go?) No performance bond, no other requirements as long as endorsed by legislator?

ALAN JAVELLANA
FORMER NABCOR PRESIDENT
Yes.

Javellana also admits he met Napoles twice in her office building, thinking she was a prospective NABCOR investor.
He also met her cousin now principal witness Benhur Luy but can’t remember the names of the legislators whose endorsement letters Luy carried.

TEOFISTO GUINGONA III
CHAIRMAN, BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE
Yung mga detalye parang kape, walang pinakain sa iyo, naalala niyo. Pero ang lawmakers di mo maalala. Selective memory ata iyan. Sino ang lawmakers? Give me one? (You remembered details like the coffee and that they didn’t feed you. But you don’t remember the lawmakers. That seems to be selective memory. Who are the lawmakers? Give me one?)

ALAN JAVELLANA
FORMER NABCOR PRESIDENT
Estrella I mentioned earlier.

Javellana’s former subordinate Rhodora Mendoza helps him out.
She says the 3 senators did not just endorse the supposed Napoles NGOs but even signed their liquidation papers.
Senator TG Guingona says this helps nail down the senators who deny knowing about the scam and blame the implementing agencies.
Senators aim to summon Luy and other whistleblowers before inviting their own colleagues to explain.
Who is at fault: lawmakers or the implementing agencies?
Both sides are pointing fingers as they face public pressure to account for billions in taxayers’ money. The investigation here shows that the pork barrel scam is a complex issue where law and accountability broke down in not just one but many levels… with officials left to plead either incompetence or guilt. Ayee Macaraig, Rappler. – Rappler.com

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