Marañons deny pork scam link

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014


NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and his son Sagay City Mayor Alfredo Maranon III denied on Tuesday any involvement in the pork barrel scam after their names were included in the list of former legislators who transacted with alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

“The list is not disturbing but it's irritating. My conscience is clear on that," the governor told reporters.

The names of the governor and his son, as well as of former Third District Representative Jose Carlos Lacson, were published Tuesday in the national daily Philippine Daily Inquirer based on the purported files of Benhur Luy, the former finance officer of Napoles.

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The Marañons were both former congressmen of the Second District.

The elder Marañon said that the supposed list clearly stated that he has not received a Special Allotment Release Order or Saro.

“It is stated that I have not received any Saro. It is already very hard to get funds from government even if you have the Saro, how much more if you don't have that. If you already have the Saro, then a Notice of Cash Allotment is required," the governor explained.

He added that it is easy to make a list and anybody can make a list, but there are those who were on the original list and were not included in the list that named them.

“Several of us were put on the list who did not receive the funds,” the governor said.

The younger Marañon, for his part, said, "The Inquirer special report itself says it clear that there is no Saro. This means that we have not received anything as implied."

The governor said he suspects that the list may have something to do with the alleged fertilizer scam wherein an offer was made by a non-government organization whose representatives came to the province before the 2004 presidential elections.

"They went to the Office of the Governor with documents ready for our signatures. They offered us 30 percent from the project which was worth millions of pesos. It was so obvious we could not stomach it that's why I did not take it,” he said.

The governor said those who refused the offer with him were the late Gov. Joseph Marañon, then vice governor Isidro Zayco, then Cadiz City mayor Salvador Escalante, and the younger Marañon who was then a candidate for congressman.

"We supported FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr.) during that election against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo," he added.

The elder Marañon said they will write the Philippine Daily Inquirer to ask if they could furnish his office the documents, if they have any.

It was stated in the list that Lacson who was congressman from 1987-1993 and from 2001-2010, with Saro in 2005, received the funds from an NGO Masaganang Ani Para Sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. and implemented by the Department of Agriculture Region 6.

Lacson could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Based on the list, the younger Marañon who was representative of the Second District from 2004-2013, received the project from the Department of Agriculture through Masaganang Ani Para Sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. and Jo Chris Trading, but without Saro.

The governor, who was congressman from 1995-2004, allegedly got the funds without Saro but on record as supply for fertilizer and water system supply through the Department of Agriculture and Department of Public Works and Highways with documents on cash advances.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 21, 2014.

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