'2 lawmakers proposed hog-raising project'
MANILA, Philippines - The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has confirmed that two congressmen proposed hog-raising projects last year to be undertaken in Muslim communities.
Former elections commissioner Mehol Sadain, who heads NCMF, identified the two House members as Arthur Robes of San Jose del Monte City and Raymond Democrito Mendoza of the party-list group Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).
“When these projects were submitted to us by the offices of the two congressmen, we told their representatives that we cannot entertain their projects unless they change them,” he said.
“Cong. Mendoza changed his project by having chicken and ducks, eliminating hogs and swine. This was the project implemented, on top of high value crops. Cong Robes did not want to change, and went to another agency,” he said.
He said his agency did not want to have anything to do with “any livelihood projects involving pigs.”
“Under Islamic law, Muslims are forbidden to eat pork or raise pigs,” he added.
Mendoza gave NCMF P14 million in 2012. It is not clear how much Robes allocated for projects he wanted to undertake through the Muslim commission.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad earlier told The STAR that NCMF is not a PDAF implementing agency, but could not explain why at least one senator and scores of congressmen allocated their funds to it and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) actually released such funds to the commission.
A large part of the funds reportedly ended up with bogus foundations, similar to those associated with alleged pork barrel scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles.
According to sources in the House of Representatives, certain NCMF officers and “girls in very short shorts” representing foundations dealing with the Muslim commission had solicited pork barrel funds from several congressmen. – With Christina Mendez