COA report: DA, Customs, Tesda chiefs gave to NGOs
MANILA - Some former colleagues of President Aquino in Congress who are now part of his administration were among lawmakers who had funnelled pork barrel funds to non-government organizations.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, former representative of Quezon’s second district, had allocated P6.5 million to the Economic and Social Cooperation for Local Development Foundation.
A large part of the P6.2 billion in pork barrel funds senators and congressmen funneled to NGOs was coursed through the agriculture department and state corporations under it. Most of the NGOs were found to be bogus.
Former Rep. Joel Villanueva of the party-list group Citizens Battle Against Corruption gave P9.7 million to Aaron Foundation, P4.8 million to Kaagapay Magpakailanman Foundation, P3.9 million to Masaganang Ani para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. (MAMFI), and P1 million to Life Giver Development Foundation, for a total of P19.4 million.
Villanueva now heads the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, an agency under the Department of Labor.
Former Muntinlupa representative and now Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon gave P18 million to Dynamic Filipino Citizen Civic Organization Inc., P8 million to Unlad Pinoy Organization, and P2.7 million to Philippine Social Development Foundation, for a total of P28.7 million.
Aaron Foundation, reportedly controlled by a Mindanao congresswoman, and MAMFI were among the biggest recipients of pork barrel funds.
Aaron received a total of P524.9 million from 26 congressmen, including Villanueva. Its biggest benefactor was Surigao del Sur Rep. Philip Pichay, who gave it P162 million, followed by former Speaker and Davao City Rep. Prospero Nograles with P60.1 million and Pichay’s brother Prospero with P40.4 million.
Former Laguna congressman and now Court of Appeals Justice Danton Bueser gave Aaron Foundation P9.8 million. He also allocated P9.6 million to Philippine Environment and Economic Development Association (PEEDA). Bueser was appointed to the appellate court in July 2009 during the Arroyo administration.
MAMFI cornered a total of P477 million, the bulk of which came from Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile, who gave it P172.2 million, P118.3 million and P77.6 million, respectively, for a total of P368.1 million. The balance came from congressmen.
Aside from the Pichays and Nograles, former Malabon-Navotas Rep. Alvin Sandoval was a generous NGO funder, giving a total of P111.8 million to several foundations.
Sandoval served only for one term, from 2007 to 2010. His brother, Ricky, a three-term congressman before him, allocated P20 million to Pamalakaya Foundation, in which his wife Jeannie was an officer, shareholder or incorporator, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).
Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo is not on the list of more than 200 senators and congressmen who gave P6.2 billion to NGOs, including 10 linked to fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, one of his wedding sponsors.
His name does not also appear in a separate list of lawmakers who received excess pork barrel funds during the Arroyo administration. Romulo did not get extra funds despite his father’s closeness to then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The Pasig City representative who gave funds to NGOs was Romulo’s predecessor, Robert Vincent Jude Jaworski, who served from 2004 to 2007.
According to the COA report, Jaworski gave P11 million to Kabalikat sa Kalusugan at Kaunlaran Foundation, P5.8 million to Kapuso’t Kapamilya Foundation, and P2.6 million to Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Inc.
San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, who heads the opposition in the House of Representatives, allocated P4.5 million to Antipolo Social Alliance for Progress, while Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez gave P2.7 million to PEEDA.
Romualdez lost the minority leadership post to Zamora on July 22 when the House elected its officers. He has since formed his own group, calling it an independent bloc.