Latest Stories

Muslim body denies involvement in Davao City lawmaker’s pork projects


Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab. Photo from congress.gov.ph

TORIL, Davao City, Philippines— Except for a bead-making project for 50 persons launched here in March, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) said it did not know of any other project that used the P7-million pork barrel fund that Rep. Isidro Ungab reportedly coursed through the agency.

“I only learned about the P7 million from the media,” Norhaida Lumaan, officer-in-charge of NCMF Davao, said.

But while knowing of the existence of the bead-making project in Barangay Binugao here, Lumaan denied the local NCMF office was involved in its implementation.

Ungab, she said, merely invited her to attend the launching of the bead-making project in March. Beyond her attendance, her office had no more involvement in the project, Lumaan added.

“I want to make it clear that we never received any money, and that our office was never involved,” she said.

A barangay official in Binugao, who also attended the launching, said she was puzzled by the fact that the project supposed to be undertaken by the NCMF had hardly any Muslim beneficiary present.

“Most of those who received the bead kits in Barangay Binugao were Christians, I knew the Muslims in the area,” Flora Salandron, a barangay councilor, said.

Salandron also said except for “a kit, containing some tools used in making beads,” the beneficiaries got no other inputs during the launching of the project.

“Perhaps, the kit will give them an idea how to make beads but it was not even enough to start their own bead-making business because the bead materials were not enough,” she said.

Salandron said it was the first and last bead-making project that was launched in the village.

“Basta ang beads, kausa lang nahitabo (It happened only once), and it was only good for 50 people,” she said.

But Salandron admitted that in August, Ungab also launched a Bigasan (rice store) project for 50 women in their barangay but only 26 people were able to attend. Under the project, the proponents were given a total of P300,000 in “rolling capital to set up a rice store” in the village.

A report by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which showed a breakdown of Ungab’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) projects, showed that the third district lawmaker gave P7 million to the NCMF in 2012 for varied projects, including food processing, wellness programs, organic farming and handicrafts.

Lumaan said this must have been coursed through the NCMF national office because people from their central office frequently traveled here for Ungab’s projects.

Ungab’s staff, Jonas Palu Nable, begged off when asked about the list of beneficiaries of Ungab’s projects.

Nable said they already sent all the documents to the lawmaker’s office in Batasan.

He instead asked the Philippine Daily Inquirer to direct questions and requests regarding the project to the NCMF central office “because they are in charge with the monitoring of his projects.”

Salandron said P7 million could have spelled a lot of difference for the people of Binugao if it was spent on infrastructure.

“Our barangay roads had never been cemented in the last two decades, they have potholes; and 400 households in Toril do not have access to running water because they are not yet covered by the Davao City Water District (DCWD),” she said. “Just imagine what those funds could have done to these households.”

She said the maintenance of the barangay roads fell under the jurisdiction of the City Engineers’ Office but for lack of local funds, the local government usually relied on the pork barrel fund of congressmen to have these roads cemented.

“Even when we ask the City Engineer’s to have the road paved or graded to temporarily get rid of potholes, we still had to court and earn the friendship of the backhoe operators to have our barangays prioritized,” she said.

Related Stories:

LP: No hand in choice of partymate in pork scam as House panel chair

LP lawmaker used Napoles pork ‘service’

Janet Napoles and the pork barrel scam

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: bead-making project , Davao City , House of Representatives , Isidro Ungab , Janet Lim Napoles , livelihood project , National Commission on Muslim Filipinos , NCMF , PDAF , Philippine Congress , Pork barrel , pork barrel scam , Priority Development Assistance Fund , Regions

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. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  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


  • Ex-church leader nabbed for selling drugs
  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Sports

  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming
  • Murray breaks down in tears at Scottish ceremony
  • Lifestyle

  • 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
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • 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
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

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

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace