Latest Stories

Ex-lawmaker says he didn’t approve pork funds

BAGUIO CITY—Former Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa said he did not approve the pork barrel allocations that ended up with nongovernment organizations (NGOs) identified with detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles and would like to be given the chance to cooperate with investigators.

In a statement released by his lawyer, Edgar Avila, Dangwa said he has been accused of conniving with Napoles based only on the sworn statements of the whistle-blowers, who claimed he was among the lawmakers whose Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations were accessed by the NGOs.

“I have intimated my desire to be probed directly on the matter. I have wanted to be heard so that the investigation may go to wherever the evidence may lead… before formal charges are brought to bear upon me,” Dangwa said. “To date, however, I have yet to receive any invitation to participate in the proceedings.”

Malversation, bribery and graft

Dangwa is facing charges of malversation, direct bribery and graft and corruption that were filed by the Department of Justice at the Office of the Ombudsman on Sept. 16. The cases involved P26.77 million of his P54-million PDAF allocation from 2007 to 2009.

The former lawmaker’s employees— Jeanette de la Cruz, Erwin Dangwa and Carlos Lozada—were included in the lawsuit.

Dangwa’s last PDAF allocations in 2009 and 2010 were devoted to scholarships, financial aid to indigents seeking treatment at the Philippine Heart Center and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and fund assistance to Kabayan town in Benguet.

Dangwa has not replied to text messages or telephone calls since last week. But in a July 15 telephone interview, he said he had not taken part in any of Napoles’ ghost projects. He said documents that supposedly bore his signature were not his but those of a missing employee.

In his statement this week, he affirmed that he “never confirmed the authenticity of any of the documents connected with the subject PDAF releases.”

The government audit team, in its report, said Dangwa did not reply to two confirmation requests for PDAF-funded projects facilitated by the Countrywide Agri and Rural Eco and Development Foundation Inc. (Cared) and the People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc. (POPDFI).

“The reasons and circumstances of my nonconfirmation of [these] documents are precisely what I would have wanted to share with the investigators,” Dangwa said.

Last week, Dangwa, along with other legislators implicated in the pork barrel scandal, was among those accused of plunder in a complaint filed in the Ombudsman by the anticrime group, Citizens’ Crime Watch.

“Hasty conclusions are now [being] made that I am as culpable as the others who may have actually misused the funds,” Dangwa said in the statement.

“These conclusions, however, are erroneous and unjust because they ignore the fact that, by law, members of Congress are authorized to propose and select projects to be funded by the PDAF and [which are] carried out by the implementing agency and the NGOs,” he said.

“The duty to ascertain the legitimacy of the NGOs before funds are released to them rests, not upon the legislators, but upon the implementing agency,” Dangwa said. Vincent Cabreza with a report from Kimberlie Quitasol, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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: Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa , 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
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  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. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘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
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace