Statement of former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr.: Here are the facts
I was surprised that I was among those mentioned in Mr. Benhur Luy’s list which was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last Wednesday, May 14. More than the shock was the huge blow it had dealt not only to me and my family but also to the Magsaysay name.
While I am certain that I have not done anything inappropriate or deceitful in all my 12 years in the Senate, I chose to keep silent until I have gathered information and reviewed our files first to answer fully to the Filipino people and prove the accusation false.
Below are the facts:
1) In 2003, the municipalities of Alburquerque and Candijay in the province of Bohol through their respective Mayors then, Efren D. Tungol and Monina Camacho, requested that assistance to marginal farmers in their towns be given. Both requested the amount of P5 million each. Because of budget constraints, I endorsed the two municipalities for assistance with P2 million allocation each. The Department of Budget and Management issued SARO ROCS-04-00622 in the amount of P4 million as noted in Mr. Benhur Luy’s list. Contrary to his claims, however, the beneficiary of said amount was not the People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc., (POPDFI) or any of Ms Janet Napoles’ bogus NGOs but the two local government units of Alburquerque and Candijay.
2) Based on our records, the municipalities of Alburquerque and Candijay in the province of Bohol received or should have received the said funds from the Department of Agriculture based on the document Advice of NCA Issued dated March 19, 2005 signed by then Acting Secretary Mario Relampagos. The document stated that the funds were credited to the account of DA. The verbatim letter of DBM to DA Secretary Arthur Yap indicated, “the amounts for credit to your (DA) account.”
3) Note that said allocation was before the time I learned of the misuse of funds of the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani Program being managed by the DA. On Aug. 30, 2005, I filed Senate Resolution No. 327 on the P728 Fertilizer Fund Scam, which led me to hold a series of public hearings and eventually submit Committee Report 54 on March 1, 2006 which recommended the filing of cases and prosecution of those who mismanaged the fund.
4) Some time before the third public hearing on the Fertilizer Fund Scam in 2005, the office sent a communication to DA that all our remaining projects with DA-OSEC and DA-NAFC covered and beginning 2004-05 General Appropriations Act are being withdrawn and voided. The same was intended to have unbiased and independent investigation on the Fertilizer Fund Scam.
All my records will attest that I had gone through the legal ang proper channels in the disbursement of my PDAF. All documents are attached for veracity with the exception of the last communication (pertaining in Item 4) which was received by then DA Undersecretary Belinda Gonzales and should be in the files of the Department of Agriculture.
I have never dealt with Mr. Luy, Ms Napoles or anyone claiming to be a representative of her bogus NGOs. Most importantly, I did not receive a single centavo in the release of the amount since that would be between the LGUs and the implementing agency. If at all, I surmise that my inclusion was part of the vendetta for having stirred the Report of the Fertilizer Fund Scam.
May I request that this communication be printed in full and the relevant editorial adjustment be made to reflect that I should not be included in Benhur Luy’s list.
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