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Friday, December 5, 2014

Php 900 Million Malampaya Funds Went to 12 Napoles NGO's

Twelve non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to suspected pork barrel fund scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles ended up as “beneficiaries” of P900 million worth of royalties from the Malampaya gas project off Palawan, the Commission on Audit (COA) bared yesterday.
COA Chairman Ma. Gracia Pulido Tan disclosed this yesterday at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s initial hearing on the alleged Malampaya fund scam, which Napoles purportedly hatched in her dealings with government agencies during the term of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Tan said the COA’s audit report on the P900-million Malampaya funds were based on the Special Allotment and Release Order (SARO) No. E-09-08417 released in Nov. 19, 2009 and Notice of Cash Allotment (NCA) No. BMB-E-09-0024816 released in Dec. 21, 2009.
It was Mrs. Arroyo who approved the fund released per the letter of then Executive Secretary Eduardo P. Ermita dated Oct. 13, 2009, the COA said. 

The funds were supposed to be used as assistance to farmers who were affected by typhoon “Pepeng” and tropical storm “Ondoy” in 2009 but were diverted to the questionable NGOs in connivance with some Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) officials, COA added.
Tan identified the NGOs as Karangyaan Para sa Magbubukid Foundation, Inc. (KPMFI), P82.5 million; Gintong  Pangkabuhayan Foundation, Inc. (GPFI), P82.5 million; Kaupdann para sa Mangunguma Foundation, Inc. (KMFI), P75 million; Kasagahan Para sa Magsasaka Foundation (KPSMFI), P75 million; Dalangpan Sang Amon Utod Kag Kasimanwa Foundation, Inc. (DSAUKKFI), P75-million; Ginintuang Alay sa Magsasaka Foundation (GAMFI), P77.5 million; Bukiin Tanglaw Foundation, Inc. (BTFI),  P75 million; Abundant Harvest For People Foundation, Inc. (AHPFI), P75 million; Tanglaw para sa Magsasaka Foundation (TPSMFI), P72.5 million, Saganang Buhay sa Atin Foundation, Inc. (SBAFI), P80 million, Micro Agri -Business Citizens Initiative Foundation, Inc. (MABCFI), P55 million; Masaganang Buhay Foundation, Inc. (MBFI); P75 million.
These NGOs are different from the eight Napoles organizations implicated in the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel fund scam.
Three senators – Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr.—are already facing plunder and corruption charges for allegedly funneling their pork barrel allocations to Napoles’ alleged bogus NGOs.
Tan said that based on their significant audit findings, the alleged underlying basis and purpose of funding – the request of the 97 mayors for financial assistance to farmers affected by Ondoy and Pepeng – questionable. 

She said 67 mayors denied their signatures, four confirmed their signatures but denied participation in the transactions, while 26 mayors did not reply to COA’s request for confirmation.
The letter-requests, she said, were reportedly submitted to the DAR by the NGOs and not by the mayors. The DAR is just one of the 17 agencies that were given Malampaya funds.
Most of the letter-requests were submitted to DAR after it submitted funding requests to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
The funding requested from DBM, she said, was made on Oct. 22, 2009, but the 27 letter-requests received by DAR were from Oct. 19 to Oct. 21 while the other letter-requests were received from Oct. 22 to Nov. 8, 2009. There was no proof even that the DAR received the letter-requests on the said dates.
“There is no validation by DAR of letter-requests. There were no field reports or endorsements. The letter-requests were submitted by transferee NGOs,” Tan said.
She said the DAR entered into memorandum of agreements (MOA) with the 12 NGOs even before the issuance of the SARO, violating Presidential Decree No. 1445 which prohibits government agency into entering into contracts unless funds are available and authorized or appropriated. 

Tan also added the NGOs were selected through the endorsement of the mayors. There was no public or negotiated bidding.
Tan said that the MOAs with 12 NGOs were split into 97 per municipality or local government unit (LGU), enabling then DAR Undersecretary Narciso Nieto to exercise his authority to sign the projects that are less than P10 million.
“If aggregated per NGO, it would have been more than P10-millin and would have to be signed by the DAR Secretary,” she said.
She also said all disbursement vouchers were signed by Nieto; the checks countersigned by him or Teresita Panlilio as OIC-USEC.
Furthermore, the 97 MOAs were notarized by only three commissioned notary public, namely Delfin Agcaoili, Jr. Editha Tanaboc, and Mark Oliveros.  She said they cannot find Oliveros’ name in the list of lawyers while the two cannot be located at their given addresses.
Tan said the purported projects of the NGOs were deemed inexistent since none of the purported beneficiaries selected for validation confirmed receipt of items.
She also said the purported procurement of items and expenses were not supported with any documentation and the supposed suppliers were not even disclosed. 

“Parang wala kaming nakitang project at all. I will not even say ghost delivery. Parang ghost project—it’s more like that,” Tan said in an interview after the hearing.
Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said his committee will invite former DAR officials to appear in its next scheduled probe
Guingona particularly named Nieto, former DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, and ex-undersecretary Panlilio.
He also vowed to summon detained Napoles, whistleblower Benhur Luy and Ruby Tuason, said to be Napoles’ agent in the Malampaya fund scam.
“We will check who would be called first. We need to because it’s like a pizza pie, we need to slice it first so we can eat it. So we will determine which ones to call first. But definitely everybody will be called. Everybody,” Guingona told reporters after the hearing.
He said that based on the initial hearings it was clear there was a connivance between the NGOs and the DAR officials to misuse the money.
“You must remember this is with the DAR so the beneficiaries should be agrarian reform communities. But it didn’t end up with there it ended up in the pockets of these NGOs,” lamented Guingona.
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