UNA demands Abad’s explanation over P500M ‘pork’ misuse-A A +A
Friday, August 30, 2013
BUDGET Secretary Florencio Abad must explain why bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) continue to have received public funds under the Aquino administration, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said Friday.
UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco was referring to a newspaper report that some P500 million priority development assistance funds (PDAF) or pork barrel funds went to questionable NGOs through the Philippine Forest Corp., the office of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, and the National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), which is under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The report said the funds were coursed through the said agencies between 2010 and 2012. Benigno Aquino III took over the presidency 2010.
"If indeed the release of PDAF since 2010 have been judicious and strictly regulated, why then are there documented releases to fake NGOs through the GOCCs amounting to more than P500 million?" asked Tiangco.
Tiangco said Abad cannot claim innocence on the releases to questionable NGOs as this happened under his watch.
"What happened to the restrictions on the pork barrel releases the DBM has been saying—bakit marami pa ring nakakalusot since 2010?" he asked.
This week, a protest dubbed the Million People March was held against the misuse of PDAF disclosed by the Commission on Audit (COA). The COA special audit report on PDAF, however, only covered the years 2007 to 2009.
Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, now under police custody, masterminded a supposed multi-billion pork barrel scam by channeling PDAF of several congressmen and senators to dubious NGOs.
Napoles surrendered to President Aquino Wednesday night after the government offered a P10-million reward for information leading to her arrest for illegally detaining his cousin, whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Tiangco earlier warned that Napoles could be used by the Aquino administration for the persecution of the government's political foes.
In a statement, Liberal Party (LP) secretary general Mel Senen Sarmiento said Tiangco is experiencing "episodes of uncontrolled paranoia."
"They should stop imagining things. If they are clean and have really nothing to do with the scheming ways of Napoles, I don't think that they have anything to fear," Sarmiento said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)