P7.6M ‘pork’ for hybrid goats used to buy cars
Instead of buying hybrid goats that would have helped local farmers, the unused P7.6 million from former congressman Antonio Cuenco’s Priority Development Assistance (PDAF) were used to buy luxury cars for 10 barangays.
“When the amount was returned by former Guadalupe barangay captain Eugenio Faelnar to the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA), I asked them not to return the money to Manila,” Cuenco said.
Cuenco said the barangay captains requested for vehicles. He said this prompted him to to grant their request by buying Toyota Altis sedans for the 10 barangays.
The recipients , he said, were barangays Suba, Sawang Calero, Mambaling, Basak San Nicolas, Inayawan, Tisa, Labangon, Quiot, and two others which Cuenco could no longer remember.
But when visited by the reporters yesterday, officials of barangays Labangon and Tisa denied getting cars from the former congressman.
Cuenco earlier channeled P14.791,346.69 of his PDAF to the DA-7 which in turn entrusted the amount to Faelnar for a goat and seedlings dispersal program.
Of the amount, about P6.2 million was used to purchase seedlings from WM Sprouts Center.
The lanzones, mango, durian and rambutan seedlings were distributed to Cebu City’s southern barangays.
A list of the recipient barangays are available at the Guadalupe Barangay Hall.
But it was unclear if the seedlings were used for its purpose.
Faelnar also paid P664,654.91 to Win Construction to build a goat house in barangay Taptap, Cebu City that ended up idle and unused.
Another P245,000 was also used to buy hoses for different barangays.
Faelnar returned the remaining P7.6 million to the DA after he chose not to buy hybrid goats which he found expensive.
Cuenco expressed dismay over Faelnar’s failure to accomplish projects that were funded from his PDAF.
The former congressman learned that the seedlings worth P6.2 million were overpriced.
“They purportedly bought the seedlings at P15 each. But when I asked somebody to check its price, they were only sold at P3 to P5 each,” Cuenco said.
He said he told Faelnar to give some of them to Cebu City’s northern district.
“Those seedlings were intended for the south district only,” Cuenco said.
Cuenco said it took about one and a half years to finish the construction of the goat house.
“It was Jing-jing who planned the construction of a goat house. I thought that was really needed by the city so I didn’t object,” he said.
Cuenco believed there were irregularities committed in the implementation of projects that were funded from his PDAF share.
“Those who implemented the projects committed mistakes. They should answer for it. I’m angry but how can I discipline them? It’s up to the Ombudsman to investigate and penalize those responsible,” he said.
He said he is willling to testify before the Ombudsman to shed light on the investigation. /Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Reporter with Correspondent Carine M. Asutilla