MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice on Monday issued a lookout bulletin against Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
In a memorandum order to the Bureau of Immigration (BI), Justice Secretary Leila de Lima also included in the lookout bulletin Napoles’ brother Reynald Jojo Lim.
The lookout bulletin which will alert law enforcement agencies and port authorities to keep a tight watch on Napoles came as seven bogus non-government organizations (NGO) allegedly controlled by her will finally undergo government scrutiny.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the creation of a special panel to look into the misuse of P200 million in funds under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in 2007 and 2008.
Morales has also given the 5-member panel the leeway to “conduct preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication of all other cases that may arise from or involve the utilization of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
“(We) created a special panel to conduct preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication of the criminal and administrative charges filed by the Field Investigation Office (FIO) after (its completion of a) case build-up which commenced even before Benhur Luy blew the whistle on the reported `pork barrel scam’,” said the Ombudsman in a statement.
The Ombudsman was referring to a series of exposé by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on an alleged P10-billion pork scam carried out by Napoles over the last 10 years using bogus NGOs to conduct ghost projects in connivance with unscrupulous senators, representatives, mayors and government officials.
The Ombudsman panel will look into graft and falsification charges filed against former Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, Undersecretary Narciso Nieto, Director Teresita Panlilio, Chief Accountant Angelita Cacananta, Budget Officer Ronald Venancio, Cashier Nilda Baui, three notaries public, three certified public accountants, and 24 private individuals behind the seven NGOs led by pork barrel scam whistle blowers Benhur Luy and Merlina Sunas.
The Ombudsman said Pangandaman, Nieto, Panlilio, Venancio, and Baui have also been slapped with administrative charges for grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best Interest of the service, gross neglect of duty, and serious dishonesty.
The 7 NGOs implicated in the CARP fund scam are Luy’s Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (SDPFFI); People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation, Inc. (POPDFI) led by Sunas; Philippine Agri and Social Economic Development Foundation, Inc. (PASEDFI) led by May-Ann Kilapkilap as president; Agri and Economic Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (AEPFFI) led by Nemesio Pablo; Agricultura Para sa Magbubukid Foundation, Inc. (APMFI) led by Jocelyn O. Piorato; Masaganang Ani para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Inc. (MAMFI) led by Marina Sula; and Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development Foundation, Inc. (CARED) led by Simonette Briones.
Based on the 245-page complaint filed against Pangandaman and his co-accused, the DAR Secretary and officials granted funds for projects classified as “agri-business development,” “micro-livelihood project” or “agricultural production” to the 7 Napoles NGOs in violation of the Commission on Audit (COA) circular on the release of funds to NGOs and people’s organizations. The complaint alleged that while the NGOs delivering on its commitment to projects in several municipalities in Cagayan, Pangasinan, Cavite, Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, and Agusan del Sur, the listed beneficiaries have denied getting anything from these NGOs.
The CARP fund scam is seen as a precursor of the P900 Malampaya fund scam which whistle blower Sunas claimed was concocted by Napoles and Pangandaman and Nieto in 2009 using fake NGOs that made ghost deliveries. With reports from Gil Cabacungan, Philippine Daily Inquirer