6 solons tapped Napoles-linked NGO: DA
MANILA – Six congressmen funneled their pork barrel funds to a non-government organization (NGO) linked to alleged pork barrel scam player Janet Lim Napoles, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Tuesday.
At a press conference, DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said at least P83.2 million in pork barrel funds were allocated by the six representatives to Kaupdanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc. (KMFI) during the 15th Congress.
Alcala, however, said only P44.9 million of the pork barrel funds were released to KMFI due to several "safety nets" set up by the DA.
He added that majority of the funds released were properly liquidated and several documents provided by the Napoles-linked NGO showed that the projects were indeed implemented.
Masbate 3rd district Scott Davies Lanete had the biggest allocation for KMFI at P45 million.
Lanete had three separate fund allocations for KMFI worth P15 million each. Only one of the requests was fully released while only a total of P4.5 million were mobilized in the two other requests.
The other lawmakers who tapped KMFI include:
- AN-WARAY party-list Rep. Neil Benedict Montejo (P9.2; fully released and liquidated)
- Davao Del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio Lagdameo (P1 million; fully released and liquidated)
- Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab (P13 million; fully released and liquidated),
- Oriental Mindoro 2nd District Rep. Reynaldo Umali (P10 million; P1.3 million released and liquidated)
Funds worth P5 million were allocated for KMFI in the name of then Camarines Sur 4th District Arnulfo Fuentebella. Only 15% or P750,000 were released to KMFI but Fuentebella and his chief-of-staff denied ever approving the allocation of funds for the NGO.
Alcala said Fuentebella's mere denial of the allocation indicates that the project is fraudulent. He said the DA will submit the necessary documents to the Office of the Solicitor General to run after the KMFI, whose office no longer exists.
Alcala said the DA, upon his assumption as its secretary in 2010, initially avoided using pork barrel funds, officially known as Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
However, the DA revived the PDAF- funded programs in August 2012 at the request of lawmakers and the advice of the Department of Budget and Management.
Alcala explained that he did want to facilitate pork-funded projects due to anomalies linked to the lump sum funds. But when the DA was compelled to revive them, Alcala said he set up safety nets such as the release of the funds in tranches as opposed to lump sum and the formation of committee accrediting NGOs.
The NGOs were also required to liquidate the initial release before the next tranches would be released.
Alcala explained that KMFI passed the scrutiny of the DA because it had a certificate of good standing from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
"Ang naging problema lang namin, may nakalusot sa amin, ang Kaupdanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc. under ni Napoles. By that time hindi kami naghuhugas ng kamay, by that time wala kaming knowledge na may ganitong grupo," he said.
6 NGOs also received PDAF funds
Alcala said apart from KMFI, six more NGOs received PDAF during his term. The following are:
- Maharlikang Lipi Foundation Inc. – P10 million (only P1.5 million released)
- Kaakbay Buhay Foundation Inc. -P15 million (P2,250,000 released)
- Coprahan at Gulayan Foundation Inc. - P5 million (fully released)
- Kaagapay at Pag-asa ng Masa Foundation – P62,460,000 (P28,262,000 released)
- Kasangga ng Magandang Bukas Foundation Inc. - P62, 125,000 (P17,587 450 released)
- Kabuhayan sa Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation - P96,300,000 (P33,292,500 released)
Alcala said the offices of Kaakbay Buhay Foundation Inc.and Kasangga ng Magandang Bukas Foundation Inc. no longer exist.
Alcala said 19 other NGOs were accredited by the DA from March 2012 to December 2012, but these NGOs used regular funds from the DA and not PDAF funds.