Latest Stories

Senators feel like cold cuts in front of COA chief


Commission on Audit (COA) Chair Grace Pulido-Tan’s presence at the Senate blue ribbon committee inquiry into the P10-billion pork barrel funds scam last week was enough for senators to break out in a cold sweat.

There is no stopping Tan from revealing the senators who have been tagged in a post- 2010 COA report on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) finding their way to fake nongovernment organizations (NGOs).

COA Chair Tan said the misuse of the pork barrel funds continued well into the Aquino administration, with the same implementing agencies and the same legislators involved.

Tan said during the hearing that a total of P1.093 billion from the PDAF of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and Gregorio Honasan went to the fake NGOs of businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles between 2007 and 2009.

All four have inhibited themselves from the inquiry but have denied any involvement in the misuse of pork barrel funds.

Sen. Francis Escudero, who sought the inquiry into the pork barrel scam, asked Tan if there was already a COA report on the alleged PDAF misuse in 2010 and onward, citing criticisms that the special audit only dealt with the latter years of the Arroyo administration.

“[I] would say that we find the same implementing agencies. [The National Agribusiness Corp.] is pretty notorious when it comes to that. [The Zamboanga del Norte College Rubber Estates Corp.] in 2011, it’s the same story about the PDAF being given to NGOs and the NGOs implementing the so-called projects but upon inspection and validation, there are a lot of deficiencies,” Tan told the inquiry.

Escudero then asked if the irregularities involved the same legislators.

“If I remember right, we’re coming up with the [audit of the] Philippine Forest Corp. It should have been released one or two weeks ago but we wanted to be careful with the validation because some might say it’s again wrong,” Tan said.

“Hopefully, by next week we can come out with it. It’s [about] PDAF allocation in 2011 and 2012 so it’s is very current. Some members are in this report and I think two additional ones,” Tan added.

It was at this point that Senate President Franklin Drilon interrupted Escudero’s questioning.

“It is unfair for you to say that there’s one or two more. Can you tell us who this one is or these two are…? They might be among those seated here,” said Drilon.

Tan told the inquiry that it was against the COA policy to divulge details of the report before it was released in full.

“Would it be sufficient for now to say that the two are not in this hall right now?” Tan said, eliciting some laughter from those present.

“That would do, as a start,” Drilon said, apparently satisfied with Tan’s response.

Drilon on Friday called on the public to give the senators implicated in the scandal a chance to explain themselves before passing judgment on them.

According to the COA special audit report, among the senators, Revilla poured the most into the Napoles NGOs cited by Tan, with P483.49 million. Enrile came in second with P332.7 million, followed by Estrada with P262.575 million.

Honasan had the least amount given to the questioned NGOs, with just P14.55 million.

 First posted 12:41 am | Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: cold cuts , Commissioned on Audit , Franklin Drilon , Grace Pulido-Tan , Jinggoy Estrada , P10-billion pork barrel funds , PDAF , Priority Development Assistance Fund

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Sports

  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Marketplace