COA: 12 NGOs in Malampaya fund scam linked to Napoles
MANILA, Philippines—Findings of an audit by the Commission on Audit (COA) revealed that 12 nongovernment organizations (NGO) which received funds from the Malampaya project are linked to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, COA chief Maria Grace Pulido Tan said Monday.
“All 12 NGOs are linked to (Janet Lim) Napoles. I’m not saying that these are Napoles NGOs but these are definitely linked to Napoles,” Tan said in Filipino during the hearing.
During the Senate probe on the alleged Malampaya fund scam, Tan revealed that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P900 million to grant the request of 97 local government units for farmers’ assistance after the onslaught of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009.
She then revealed that 12 NGOs signed memoranda of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to undertake various projects before the letter-requests of the 97 local government units could be validated.
The 12 NGOs linked to Napoles were:
Karangyaan para sa Magbubukid Foundation which forged MOAs with nine LGUs amounting to P82.5 million,
- Gintong Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc., nine LGUs, P82.5 million,
- Kasaganahan para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc., eight LGUs, P75 million,
- Ginintuang Alay sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc., eight LGUs, P77.5 million,
- Bukirin Tanglaw Foundation Inc., eight LGUs, P75 million,
- Abundant Harvest for Peoples Foundation Inc., eight LGUs, P75 million,
- Tanglaw Para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc., eight LGUs, P72.5 million,
- Saganang Buhay sa Atin Foundation Inc., nine LGUs, P80 million,
- Micro Agri Business Citizens Initiative Foundation Inc., six LGUs, P55 million,
- Masaganang Buhay Foundation Inc., eight LGUs, P75 million.
Two alleged Visayas-based nongovernment organizations were also listed:
- Kaupdanan Para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc., eight LGUs, P75 million, and
- Dalangpan Sang Amon Utod Kag Kasimanwa Foundation Inc., eight LGUs, P75 million.
The COA chief said three public notaries signed the agreements: Delfin Agcaoili Jr., Mark S. Oliveros and Editha P. Tanaboc. Tan added that the public notaries involved have dubious backgrounds as they were not found in the Roll of Attorneys.
The DBM granted the Special Allotment Release Order of projects on November 19, while the 12 NGOs signed the MOA with DAR from November 10-17, 2009. Tan said that this act violated Presidential Decree 1445 or the State Audit Code of the Philippines which bars the release of funds unless a contract has been duly authorized and the funds have been appropriated.
The COA chief said that the 12 NGOs divided the P900 million among 97 local government units to avoid the scrutiny of then DAR secretary Nasser Pangandaman.
“Splitting put the the contract amount within signing authority to of then DAR Usec.. Nieto only. If aggregated per NGO, would have been more than P10 million, and would have had to be signed by DAR secretary (Pangandaman),” COA said in its report.
However, COA found that 67 mayors out of 97 denied knowledge on the transactions, four confirmed their signatures while 26 mayors did not respond to the auditing agency’s request for confirmation.
Tan added that no projects were implemented and the alleged beneficiaries were non-registered voters and non-registered beneficiaries of the state’s agrarian reform program.
She also said that the addresses of the NGOs were unknown and were not located.
Different from ‘pork barrel’ NGOs
The COA chief said there were a total of 20 NGOs linked to Napoles: 12 in the Malampaya fund scam and eight in the pork barrel scam.
Tan said the COA will release the audit reports of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), National Housing Authority, and the Department of Agriculture early 2015.
Originally posted: 11:08 AM | Monday, December 1st, 2014
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