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Analysis

Pork barrel up for grabs by fake NGOs

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In the sordid saga of corruption in the Philippine government since the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos’ kleptocratic dictatorship in the 1986 People Power Revolution, no scandal has appalled the Filipino people more than the diversion of P10 billion in state funds earmarked for livelihood and public works projects, through the intervention of a private syndicate of nongovernment organizations, to dummy NGOs for alleged ghost projects during the past 10 years.

These massive money transfers from the national treasury are sourced from the pork barrel (Priority Development Assistance Fund) annually allocated in the national budget to members of Congress—P200 million to each senator and P70 million to each House member. This scandal is currently being investigated under the direction of the Department of Justice to determine the criminal responsibility of those behind the racket.

To be sure, and ironically, President Aquino’s administration, which has bannered transparency as an obsessive creed, is not on the carpet for this astronomical leakage of public funds. Mr. Aquino has given the Department of Justice the green light to get to the bottom of the scandal, which, in terms of the staggering sum involved, overshadows the fertilizer fund scandal during Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration. In that scandal, the then Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante was accused of diverting P728 million in fertilizer funds to the 2004 reelection campaign of Arroyo.

The Aquino administration is not under threat of being toppled by another People Power revolution, like the one that unseated President Joseph Estrada in 2001. In that case, former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis Singson blew the whistle on Estrada’s receiving payoffs and bribes, which led to the then president’s impeachment trial in the Senate.

The current inquiry of the National Bureau of Investigation into the pork barrel scandal, which is mainly focused on its criminal aspects, has unveiled an octopus-like network of corruption whose tentacles have supposedly sucked out from public coffers enormous amounts of money that found their way into the bank accounts of private individuals and foundations—enriching them at the expense of public projects for which the pork barrel is intended by law.

More than revealing the supposed modus operandi of the JLN Group of Companies headed by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the NBI inquiry has uncovered a number of unsettling flaws and vulnerabilities in the system of financing public works with the pork barrel. There’s no need to recapitulate the details of this  modus operandi, which have been more than amply described in a series of reports by this newspaper and other media that threw a scorching spotlight on the matter.

After reading closely most of the media reports on the  racket, I found that the most glaring

findings of the media investigations and that of the NBI were that:

• Government watchdogs and oversight mechanisms/institutions guarding against the leakage of public funds were extensively penetrated on several levels (from congressional to bureaucratic levels) through the manipulations of the persons behind the fake-NGO syndicate.

• Some members of the Senate and the House of Representatives were complicit with the syndicate in giving it access to their pork barrel allocations.

According to media reports based on the affidavits of whistle-blowers who were on the staff of Napoles, the president of one of Napoles’ foundations said more than P600 million was received by the foundation from the legislators and not a single centavo went to farmers. A whistle-blower claimed that Napoles set up more than 20 NGOs and foundations, and in a span of 10 years received billions of pesos from the lawmakers, who were allegedly offered 40-50 percent of the project costs.

The alleged complicity of lawmakers in these kickback arrangements amounts to the abandonment of their responsibility as custodians of the pork barrel. By allegedly giving Napoles access to the pork barrel, they also allowed her to designate the projects to which the funds will be directed, thus giving her the power of life and death over the projects.

Members of Congress are hesitant to open their own investigation into the racket, fully aware that in such hearings, they would be ratting on one another. The NBI inquiry has shown that the gates guarding the pork barrel from looting have collapsed.


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Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=58447

  • tilamsik

    look who’s talkin

  • kino

    International and national NGOs in Third world countries are “fake” in terms of the achievement of the goals/objectives in their strategic plans and programs. For almost a century now, they have not demonstrated sustained improvement in the well-being of the poor and marginalized.. The 10B PDAF scam is chicken (not pork) compared to the billions of dollars wasted/misspent by these so-called NGOs year-in and year-out.Individual and institutional donors have been scammed through the years.

  • JosengSisiw1

    In the end I’m pretty sure Napoles is not the one running this scam. She is still reporting to this “absolute scumbug” who is controlling everything and who is very knowledgeable in our laws that he helped to create in the last 30+ years….

    • eight_log

      I agree with you … NAPOLES is only an accomplice … and well paid at that!!!! Enrile, Revilla, Estrada, Honasan, Atienza, Yap had to steal the monies entrusted to them … they found in Napoles a crime partner … of course for a price!!!!

  • wysiwyg81

    we should perhaps make it clear and spell it out to malacanang and the legislature that when pipol say “alisin ang pork barrel” it means, take it away from the clutches of our legislators whose main job description is to make laws that would benefit their constituents and not by getting involved in any fund allocation or channeling of any public fund. likewise the list of accredited NGOs should be published quarterly with their corresponding projects/fund allocated through all appropriate government and NGO websites. likewise, the officers and board of directors of all NGOs and foundations must also be published quarterly with contact numbers and business addresses so that any tom, dick and harry can check, verify, contact, and audit them 24 x 7 and 365 days. btw, the BIR should start auditing all NGOs and foundations, regardless, because these organizations are being established for the purpose of the rich, where they place their money to avoid any taxes having to be paid for by some unscrupulous rich with billions. billionaires can certainly afford to pay taxes like all hardworking salaried employee$!

  • wysiwyg81

    ito po ay sample na NGOs na matatagpuan sa website ng Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC). hindi lang natin alam kung ito ay updated. mayroon pa bang iabang certification body or organization na dapat ipaalam sa atin ng ating gobyerno???
    Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc. 27 Sofia de Veyra Street cor Road 2, Quezon Hill, Baguio City Ms. Maria Rosario R. Lopez / Ms. Janice S. Sergio; A Chance for the Poor Foundation, Inc. Chance’s Bakeshoppe, Sacred Heart Convent, J.C. Aquino Ave., Butuan City Sr. Genara T. Sarigumba, MSM / Sr. Jocelyn Baluran, MSM;
    Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. H.O. Aboitiz Corporate Center, Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue, Banilad, Cebu City Mr. Augusto P.I. Carpio III / Mr. Danilo M. Cerence;
    Abot-Kamay, Inc. Blk. 10 Lot 29, Skylark St., Zabarte Subdivision, Brgy. Kaligayahan, Novaliches, Q.C. Mr. Philip Flores / Dr. Michael Singh;
    ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. ABS-CBN Foundation Bldg., Mother Ignacia St., Brgy. South Triangle, Diliman, Quezon City Ms. Regina Paz Lopez / Ms. Clarissa G. Ocampo; Navigatior Ministries, Inc. 13 Denver Street, Brgy. Immaculate Conception, Cubao, Quezon City Mr. Leonilito M. Migraso / Mr. Genaro A. Veruasa
    Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation, Inc. 7/F Jose Cojuangco & Sons Building, 119 dela Rosa cor. Castro Sts., Legaspi Village, Makati City Mr. Rafael Cojuangco Lopa;
    Malampaya Foundation, Inc. 22/F Asian Star Bldg., Asean Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang,Muntinlupa City Ms. Karen H. Agabin;
    Maynilad Cultural Foundation, Inc. 5th Floor, Torre Lorenzo Residences, P. Ocampo St. Cor. Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila Mr. Javier Calero / Ms. Joycelyn K. Ta?ada;
    Xavier University Corrales Avenue, Cag. De Oro City, 9000 Misamis Oriental Ms. Lennie K. Ong / Engr. Shierlyn S. Paclijan;

    WeatherPhilippines Foundation, Inc. 4/F Twin Cities Condominium , 110 Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City Mr. Celso C. Caballero III;

    GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc. 2/F GMA Kapuso Center, GMA Network Drive cor. Samar St., Diliman, 1103 Quezon City Ms. Carmela C. Tiangco / Mr. Jeronimo L. Perez; Global Environment and Nature Ecosystems Society (Phil.) Foundation (GENESYS) In Emerald Arcade, City Center, F.C Ledesma Ave., San Carlos City, Negros Occidental Ms. Maria Rosa E. Solis / Ms. Clarita H. Delima; atbp . . .

  • Baket?

    Bogus NGOs are a dime a dozen. Ultimately, they are dispensable and replaceable. The problem does not lie with the NGOs. The problem lies in the source of the pork barrel scam — in this case it’s clearly the palace. Despite the corruptibility of the pork barrel, PNoy still insists on including it in the 2014 national budget. In Feb 2013, the bogus NGOs did come to light implicating Enrile, Estrada and Revilla. In Apr 2013, the NBI and DOJ learned about the pork barrel scandal when they rescued Benhur Luy. Recently, DA Chief Alcala admitted to having caught wind of the NGO-pork barrel scam as soon as he assumed office. The long and short of it is everybody all the way up to PNoy knows about the pork barrel scam. Why PNoy chose to keep quiet about it when Benhur Luy spilled the beans in Apr 2013 is tantamount to withholding of information from the public. In another place at another time, such betrayal of public trust would have called for the impeachment of the president. Or is the storm brewing, the critical mass snowballing and the public outrage gaining momentum? PNoy must learn from the mistakes of Erap who underestimated the power of another EDSA revolution, if he still wishes to stay in power.

    • just another human

      Lets see who takes the 1st slice of PORK ? is not an option

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    “gates guarding the pork barrel from looting have collapsed.”
    Instead of protected by these ‘honorable kuno’ congresspersons and senators, they turned looters.

  • http://www.ilovepork.gov.ph/ Mam Jenny

    Mam Jenny here. I live and serve at the pleasure of my President. Dare I say, he is your President too. You voted for him, I get to enjoy His powers. I exist because He allows me to exist. He thinks therefore I am.

    • Simon Ward

      Dang! You actually had me going with your posts :) But “He thinks therefore I am” is just too much! Nice one, whoever you are.

    • msmakabayan

      Hawak mo nga pala ang gobyerno! I believe you!

  • concern citizen


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