Oro lawmaker denies links on P1.7-B agri 'pork' scam

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


CAGAYAN DE ORO City’s first congressional district Representative Rolando Uy has denied any involvement in the controversial P1.7-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel released to non-government organizations (NGOs) between 2007 and 2009.

Uy’s name came up as one of the lawmakers who allocated portions of their PDAF to bogus NGOs for agricultural programs and projects in those years, according to a news article that came out in a national daily on Monday.

Uy, the article said, supposedly allocated P5 million for the Gabay at Pag-asa ng Masa Foundation and another P3 million for the Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation.

The report added that another legislator, from Misamis Oriental, the late Danilo Lagbas, allegedly poured in more than P21 million to three NGOs: Gabay at Pag-asa ng Masa Foundation, P8 million; Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation, P3.8 million; at Kasangga sa Magandang Bukas Foundation, P9.6 million.

The article furthered that the government-owned National Agri-business Corporation (Nabcor), an office of the Department of Agriculture, acted as conduit of said funds.

But Uy, in a phone interview Tuesday noon, said he did not release part of his pork barrel to the two foundations nor is he familiar with these groups.

“Ever since wala gyud ko kaila anang mga foundations. Wala ko personal nakaatubang nila, not even once did I meet with the representatives of these foundations,” Uy said.

Uy said there are a lot of cases where names and signatures were used or forged for the release of PDAF in various transactions undertaken by NGOs with questionable existence.

Aboveboard

For his part, Uy said that before the abolition of the PDAF, he made sure that when he released funds for the projects he initiated or supported it should be aboveboard.

“My policy is there should be an actual implementation. It (pork barrel scam) will not happen to me. I will never tolerate this kind (of transaction),” he added.

Uy was on his first term as congressman from 2007 to 2010, the time that the NGOs were reportedly funneling millions of pesos to mainly agricultural projects all over the country.

Uy lamented on the inclusion of his name in the pork barrel scam when he and some of his colleagues in the Lower House even had a hard time receiving their PDAF.

“Mao nay gikahibulongan namo kay ang among regular nga PDAF dili gaka-release unya nganong maapil mi sa mga ingon ana (That made us wonder why our regular PDAF were not released and yet we were dragged into this),” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 19, 2014.

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