Nursing, Bar, CPA passers' names used in 'pork scam'
Posted at 08/16/2013 10:58 PM | Updated as of 08/17/2013 12:21 AM
1,090 names from CPA Board Exams in 2007; 620 names from Bar Exams, Nursing Board Exams in 2008
MANILA - A non-government organization (NGO) used names from published lists of board and Bar examination passers as supposed beneficiaries for pork barrel-funded ghost projects, according to a Commission on Audit (COA) report released Friday.
The report said ITO NA Movement Foundation, Inc. (ITONAMI) even submitted the same list of alleged beneficiaries to two different agencies to get money through Special Allotment Release Orders (SARO) from 2007 to 2008.
The group used 1,090 names from the CPA Board Exam results released October 2007; 620 names from the Bar Exams, and Nursing Board Exams in 2008.
A check by the COA special audit team later found out that the the NGO had no permits to operate a business in Pasig City but was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Its office, Rm. 904/912 Cityland Mega Plaza, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center in Pasig City, was closed when inspected in January 2011.
"As certified by the Building Administration Officer, ITONAMI was never a tenant of Cityland Mega Plaza. This Foundation did not confirm its transactions and did not submit the documents requested by the (COA) team," the report said.
According to the COA, the spurious NGO got a total of P124.86 million in public funds.
ITONAMI held transactions with the state-owned National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR), and the National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC), and the Technology Resource Center (TRC).
COA said the NGO's projects listed under NABCOR were also filled with irregularities.
The report said the status of 4WD tractors supposedly bought by ITONAMI for farmers "cannot be established."
"The City Agriculture Officer, City Government of Tabuk, in his reply to the (COA) Team's confirmation, claimed that he was not aware of any 4WD Tractors turned over to the City Government of Tabuk during the previous and present administration," it added.
It said a feeds and veterinary supplier, as well as a training center denied transacting with the NGO.
COA also failed to locate 4 other suppliers quoted by ITONAMI.
ITONAMI claimed to have bought items for 858 people. None confirmed receipt, while 14 denied receipt of the items.
Pork barrel from two lawmakers funded ITONAMI's projects under NABCOR.
Rep. Glenn Chong did not reply to COA's request for confirmation on the validity of their signatures on the documents submitted to auditors, while Rep. Manuel Agyao confirmed authenticity of his signatures, according to the report.
Similar irregularities appeared in ITONAMI's projects under the NLDC and TRC that were funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers Marc Douglas C. Cagas IV, Emil L. Ong, Daryl Grace J. Abayon, Sharee Ann T. Tan, Samuel M. Dangwa, Wilfrido Mark M. Enverga, Magtanggol T. Gunigundo I, Edgar S. San Luis, Jose Emmanuel L. Carlos, and Christian M. Señeres.
82 NGOs, P6.156 billion
The COA said the implementation of 772 projects by the 82 NGOs through public funds amounting to P6.156 billion was "not proper and highly irregular."
"There were no bases for the selection of suppliers as they did not conduct biddings while substantial transactions and distributions of items purportedly procured were not documented," it said.
The special audit report revealed that a number of NGOs and their suppliers were either unknown or unlocated at their given addresses, have given nonexistent addresses, or addresses traced in a mere shanty or high-end residential units.
A number of NGOs and suppliers also had no permits to operate or were not registered with the SEC.
Some of the NGOs charged their operating expenses to public funds, and others were incorporated and/or managed by the same persons.
COA said around P1.531 billion transferred to 55 NGOs remained completely unliquidated.
"On the other hand, almost all of those for which liquidation documents were submitted were found in audit to be deficient or otherwise irregular," it added.
"A number of suppliers and recipients including the sponsoring legislators denied their participation in the implementation of the purported projects," COA said. "A number of establishments which confirmed their transactions with the selected NGOs issued questionable receipts."
It added that six NGOs were incorporated by the legislators themselves or their relatives.
According to COA Chairperson Grace Pulido Tan, around P2 billion worth of PDAF went straight to 10 NGOs connected to fugitive Janet Lim-Napoles, who has been tagged in the pork barrel, Malampaya, and fertilizer fund scams.