Quantcast
Napoles
Latest Stories

Bataan Napoles project backed by 3 senators

By

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, Sen Jinggoy Estrada and Sen. Loren Legarda

DINALUPIHAN, Bataan—Farmers and village officials here said the liquid fertilizers and plastic sprayers delivered to them by a nongovernment organization (NGO) identified with alleged pork scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles and bought with public funds credited as pork barrel of three senators were unusable, calling the project “a waste of money.”

Fernando Paule Jr., a farmer and village chief of Sta. Isabel here, said the liquid fertilizers were “so [low grade] that farmers were not able to use them.”

Paule said farmers, who used the fertilizer, had told him that it had no impact on the quality and growth of their crops. “It’s just a waste of money,” he said.

He said they compared prices from different agricultural supply stores and found that the items given to them were worth only P1,000 each, although documents showed that these cost the government from P20,000 to P35,000 each or more expensive by P19,000 to P34,000 each.

Rolando Romano, village chair of Pita, said while the liquid fertilizers were useless, they were able to use some of the plastic sprayers. “But some of them were also defective,” he said.

He said he heard this same complaint from more than 200 farmers in Dinalupihan who received the items in 2012.

Former Mayor Joel Payumo acknowledged that Dinalupihan received funds from an NGO linked to Napoles but he said the local government was not part of the scam.

“We were just the end user, and there were deliveries made to us,” Payumo said.

He said the People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc. (POPDFI), headed by whistle-blower Merlina Suñas, delivered to the town “organic agrarian implement packages” each worth P36,450, “high-value yield enhancement packages” each costing P20,500, and farm inputs and implements worth P20,500 per package.

The Commission on Audit  (COA) said a review of the fund transferred to POPDFI, amounting to P38 million from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Loren Legarda and Jinggoy Estrada, showed that the Dinalupihan government had “failed to submit the necessary supporting documents needed upon the release, implementation and liquidation of funds as required by the COA.”

It said there was “no final utilization report, no liquidation report, no warranty for procurement of farm supplies.”

But Payumo said: “How can that be? The COA was there during the distribution, and they inspected it before it was given to the beneficiaries. We have all the necessary documents to account for everything.”

Saro offered

Asked how he was able to get funds through the senators, Payumo said representatives from POPDFI went to Dinalupihan and informed the local government it had a Special Allotment Release Order (Saro) from a senator intended for the town. Saro is a document from the Department of Budget and Management signifying the availability of funds for a project.

“We have been writing senators and implementing agencies for [funds and projects] in Dinalupihan, just like any other local government would do. When they come, and tell you that, of course, you don’t ask if they are bogus or not. You don’t question it,” he said.

Payumo said principal whistle-blower Benhur Luy and Suñas went to Dinalupihan to deliver the items.

He said he agreed with Luy and Suñas that although the check representing funds for the project would be sent to Dinalupihan, “they would be the ones to implement the project.”

“This was stated in the letters to us by the senators themselves,” said Payumo.

“If your local government was given these funds, you don’t question why they should be the ones to implement and not us. We don’t bother with that. We are just grateful,” he said.

According to Payumo, 70 percent of Dinalupihan is composed of farmland. It is the only inland town in Bataan, “so farm inputs benefit our community.”

He said it was Legarda, Estrada and Enrile who designated POPDFI as the project implementer.

In a letter on July 18, 2012, Yvonne Geston, chief administrative and finance officer of Legarda’s office, endorsed POPDFI to Payumo as a “conduit project partner,” in order to “expedite the immediate implementation of this project.”

Gigi’s letter

In a letter on April 19, 2012, lawyer Jessica “Gigi” Reyes, then Enrile’s chief of staff, also endorsed POPDFI. She also informed Payumo that Jose Evangelista II, deputy chief of staff, had been authorized “to sign the pertinent documents and ensure the proper implementation of these projects.”

Payumo said these were not ghost projects.

“They delivered … I got beneficiaries from the different villages in Dinalupihan. Before they would make deliveries, I would ask them how many people would be the beneficiaries, and then tell the village chairmen here. Proxies were not allowed, so those who signed the receiving forms were the actual farmers who used them,” he said.

Payumo also referred to another network of NGOs, which allegedly benefited from pork barrel allocations.

Operated allegedly by a local family, one of whom ran and lost for mayor, this other network of NGOs did not have direct dealings with the Dinalupihan government, he said.

“If you check the records of Dinalupihan, you won’t see any projects of [the other NGO network] that went through our office. We were surprised and we didn’t know that they operated NGOs,” he said.

PDAF allocations were supposedly coursed through the following NGOs: Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation which received P179.74 million; Kasangga sa Magandang Bukas Foundation Inc., which received P56.55 million; and Gabay at Pag-asa ng Masa Foundation, which got P52.87 million.

According to the COA special audit report, these three NGOs were part of the 26 NGOs that were granted access to PDAF facilitated by the National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor) from 2007 to 2011.

Nabcor officials have been implicated in the plunder charges filed by the Department of Justice in the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Napoles

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: Janet Napoles , News , Pork barrel , 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
Advertisement
  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
Advertisement

News

  • Magnitude 6.7 quake off British Columbia coast
  • Blue ribbon committee not yet recalling Napoles
  • Ex-church leader nabbed for selling drugs
  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • 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

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • 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
    Advertisement