5 senators gave P1.45 billion to NGOs

Posted at 08/21/2013 3:58 AM | Updated as of 08/21/2013 3:58 AM

MANILA - The top five senators who used their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or their pork barrel funds from 2007 to 2009 were Senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr., Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Edgardo Angara and Gregorio Honasan.

This is according to a tally from as special audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the use of PDAF from 2007 to 2009.

Under Annex A of the COA report, Revilla requested use of his pork barrel eight times, with a total of P503.85 million.

Enrile requested use of his PDAF 14 times with a total of P469.3 million while Estrada requested use of his PDAF seven times with a total amount of P286.8 million.

Angara requested use of his PDAF six times with a total amount of P150.51 million while Honasan requested use of his PDAF three times with a total amount of P74.8 million.

The total PDAF of the five senators transferred to NGOs is P1.45 billion. Most of these NGOs are linked to Janet Napoles, alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam.

The five senators are part of the list of legislators who transferred their PDAF to 82 questionable NGOs.

COA found the transfer of a total of P6.15 billion "not proper and highly irregular."

The list showed that the PDAF of the five senators were also released for implementation of the projects to similar agencies.

These agencies are the National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC), Technology Livelihood Center (TRC), and the National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor).

The Department of Agriculture, which accepted the requests for project implementation, referred the PDAF to the agencies.

“Aggravating the clear violation of law in the release of funds to NGOs, these NGOs were not even selected in accordance with the Guidelines on Participation of NGOs in Public Procurement,” COA said.

Of the total P6.15 billion PDAF transferred to the 82 NGOs, COA found that top agencies that released the pork barrel funds were Nabcor which released P1.2 billion, Znac Rubber Estate Corp. with PP282 million; Department of Agriculture RFUs with P31 million; DSWD with P748 million, TRC with P2.4 billion; NLDC with P1.295billion, and the Quezon City government with P177 million.

The COA report criticized these agencies for transferring funds and letting the NGOs implement the projects requested by the legislators.

“The IAs (implementing agencies) to where the funds were released by the DBM should have implemented the project themselves as they are the IAs defined in the GAA (General Appropriations Act),” COA said.

Among the NGOs linked to Napoles that were tapped by the senators for their pork barrel fund were Agri and Economic Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (AEPFFI), Agricultura Para sa Magbubukid Foundation (APMFI), Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development (CARED) Foundation, Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Inc (MAMFI), People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation (POPDFI), Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (SDPFFI) and Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI).

Senators Enrile and Estrada have welcomed investigation into the use of their PDAF while Senator Revilla has denied involvement in the pork barrel scam.

Senator Honasan reportedly wants to wait for the NBI probe on the scam while Senator Angara has yet to issue an official statement.