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Arroyo, 22 others charged with plunder

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MALAMPAYA FUND SCAM

Arroyo, 22 others charged with plunder

/ 03:19 PM October 03, 2013
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines–The National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed plunder case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and three members of her Cabinet along with 19 other people for alleged misuse of at least P900 million from the Malampaya fund.

Aside from Arroyo, also included in the complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman are:

– former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita

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– former Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman

– former DAR Undersecretary Narciso Nieto

– former DAR Finance and Management Service and current OIC Presidential Agrarian Reform Council Secretariat Teresita Panlilio

– former Budget and Management Secretary (now Congressman) Rolando   Andaya Jr.,

– Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos,

– Candaba Mayor Rene Maglanque,

– Angelita Cacananta,

– Nilda Baui

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– Dominador Sison Jr. and

– Ronald Venancio

Also included in the complaint are Janet Lim Napoles, Ruby Tuason as well as Presidents and employees of Napoles NGOs including Evelyn De Leon, Jesus Castillo (JLN driver), dalangpan Sang Amon Utod Kag Kasimanwa Foundation; Lilian Espanol (househelp) of Saganang Buhay Sa Atin Foundation Inc.; Genevieve Uy (family friend) Kasaganahan Para Sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc.; Ronald John Lim (nephew) Ginintuang Alay Sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc.; Eulogio Rodriguez (JLN Corporate Driver), Ginintuang Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc; Lorna Ramirez ( wife of JLN security), Masaganang Buhay Foundation Inc; Ronald Francisco Lim (JLN brother), Micro Agri Business Citizens Initiative Foundation Inc. And John Raymund De Asis (JLN security), Kaupdan Para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc.

Arroyo: Malampaya funds released, used in accordance with PD 910

Former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said on Thursday she did not commit any crime in approving the release and use of Malampaya funds for other government projects, saying a Marcos era law was the basis in using the funds. Read more

Records showed that on Oct. 13, 2009, Arroyo signed Executive Order 848 that allowed the use of the Malampaya funds  outside of the energy industry.

The EO was issued five days after then Budget Secretary Andaya made the request to use the fund.

“The request preceded the existence of the legal basis for the making of any such request in the first place…The lack of specifity in Arroyo’s and Ermita’s identification of the authorized purpose by which DBM can access the Malampaya Fund resulted in the almost discretionary, if not arbitrary, granting of implementing agency requests for millions of pesos in funds by the DBM,” the NBI complaint stated.

“This leniency of control displayed by the former President in the use of and access to an essentially presidential discretionary fund made possible the plunder of such fund, either intentionally or through gross inexcusable negligence.”

From the DBM, the P900-million was released to DAR to help farmer beneficiaries who are victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

Meanwhile, the NBI said, two months prior to the release of the EO, Napoles already started preparing the documents needed to “corner” the funds from DAR.

“Napoles directed her JLN staff to manufacture the necessary documents for submission to DAR, including fake letter-requests from Mayors whose farmer-beneficiaries are supposed to be recipients of the projects to be financed by the P900 million fund,” the complaint stated.

The MOAs were signed by the mayors and Nieto. The checks were signed Nieto. The checks were released to the NGOs and then deposited. Once cleared, the NBI said the cash is withdrawn and given to Napoles.

Witnesses said that officials also received kickbacks from Napoles. They are:

1. Pangandanan-P75 million received in cash from Napoles and through bank withdrawal c/o Rene Maglanque
2. Panlilio-P14 million received in cash from Napoles and through bank withdrawal.
3. Nieto-P6 million received through bank withdrawal c/o Evelyn De Leon
4. Ruby Tuason-P242,775 million received through bank for still unidentified principal.

Originally posted at 2:56 p.m.

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