Impossible for lawmakers not to know ‘pork’ disbursement, says ‘contractor’
MANILA, Philippines – It’s impossible for lawmakers not to know about the project that is being funded by their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), a “contractor” for one of the projects told INQUIRER.net in an interview Thursday.
The contractor, who goes by the name of “Alfred,” has disclosed that a senator, for example, would get a 40-percent cut from the project’s budget.
“It’s impossible that the legislators have no idea, at all. They verify and sign the signatories before releasing money from their PDAF,” “Alfred” said when asked to react to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s denial about knowing where his PDAF went during a Senate investigation Thursday into the PDAF or “pork barrel” scam.
“Alfred” said the government-owned Landbank of the Philippines would first call the senators before the fund is released.
“Alfred” used as an example the project under Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc. (PFI). “I talked with their chiefs-of-staff about the implementation because I questioned them,” he said, referring to the P500,000 share of the nongovernment organization’s farmer beneficiaries out of the P30 million project cost sourced from the PDAF of a lawmaker he did not name.
“We were able to implement the project, only this was substandard and the funds were underspent because of the sharing scheme in the PDAF release. Not all of the project funds went to Janet Lim-Napoles, most went to the legislators,’” he added.
Napoles, detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, has been tagged as the alleged mastermind behind the scam involving the channel of the legislators’ PDAF to fake NGOs.
In Thursday’s hearing by the Senate blue ribbon committee, Enrile, Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. were said to have endorsed their discretionary funds to NGOs linked to Napoles.
Mother of all ‘foundations’
She (Napoles) was the “mother of all [corrupt] foundations,” a witness said.
He disclosed that he met with Napoles at Timog in Quezon City, after which the businesswoman hired him as a “project specialist” for her foundation.
“Alfred” said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990 AM on August 27 that he was a contractor for two foundations of Napoles – the PFI and another he declined to name because the project was ongoing.
The unnamed NGO is owned by Napoles as well, he said. “The Commission on Audit report said Napoles owned 10 out of 82 NGOs, hers were more than 10.”
“Alfred” also admitted that he was working for a senator and not for PFI or the JLN Trading Corporation, a company owned by Napoles.
“Alfred” said he was a private employee and paid P50,000 for every project given to him for implementation.
As a contractor, “Alfred” specializes in community-based projects. He conducts trainings and seminars for the beneficiaries of the Napoles foundation for over10,000 farmers in Luzon, in the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon.
PDAF sharing system
“Alfred” disclosed that at the time he questioned the meager amount the farmers received, Napoles explained to him how the lawmakers’ PDAF was broken down.
Quoting Napoles, “Alfred” said in the PFI project, for example, only five-percent of the PDAF would actually go to the project and another five-percent to the Department of Agriculture that is implementing it.
For the Local Government Units (LGUs) covering the area of implementation, they will receive 20 percent of the PDAF, 15-percent for the NGO, in this case, PFI, and 15 percent for the Department of Budget Management.
“If we do not give DBM the 15 percent share, the budget officials will not grant the project,” “Alfred” said.
The remaining 40 percent automatically goes back to the senators and congressmen.
“Alfred” said to appease the beneficiaries, Napoles instructed him to ask them what they needed in their homes.
He said some asked for flat-screen televisions and other home appliances.
Malacanang, aware too
Apart from the senators and congressmen, “Alfred” disclosed that Malacanang was also aware of the “process” in the disbursement of PDAF.
Asked if he’s willing to stand up as state witness or a whistleblower, he said: “Mrs. Napoles did not do anything to me… I just want to let the public know that Napoles is not the only one behind this widespread scam.”