New complaint versus Aquino filed
Former Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco Jr. has filed a new complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against President Benigno Aquino III and top officials, this time for the alleged misuse of pork barrel funds in the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Citing state audit reports, he asked the Ombudsman to investigate the President, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala for the alleged abuse of P14.4 billion from Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of several lawmakers.
“In sum, the DA squandered P14.4 billion in public funds including DAP and PDAF funds,” said Syjuco, who has filed his candidacy for president in the May 2016 elections.
“According to (the Commission on Audit), the DA likely misused P14.4 billion of its public funds on questionable programs and projects,” he said.
Syjuco has filed a number of complaints, including plunder, against the President and other government officials.
He himself has been charged by the Ombudsman with graft for alleged anomalies during his term as executive director of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and for the fertilizer fund scam.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales last month announced that the antigraft agency is investigating the President and Abad for the DAP, which the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional since it rechannels the savings of some agencies to other supposed priority programs.
Syjuco said the COA reported that the National Livelihood and Development Corp., an attached agency of the DA, allegedly misused P235 million in PDAF of seven lawmakers as these went into nine livelihood projects that had ghost beneficiaries.
The National Agriculture and Fisheries Council, another DA agency, allegedly misused P199.4 million in PDAF funds from 2012 to 2013.
The National Agribusiness Corp., another DA agency, allegedly misused P5 million in DAP and PDAF funds.
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