More execs charged in pork barrel scam | Inquirer News

More execs charged in pork barrel scam

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 05:41 AM August 27, 2016

The net that has been cast over lawmakers and government officials in the far-reaching pork barrel scam has tightened even further.

Several more officials including former Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, Sen. Gregorio Honasan and former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada are facing a new investigation over an alleged P220-million racket involving the funneling of agrarian reform and pork barrel funds to ghost projects.


Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains behind the multibillion peso pork barrel fund scam now on trial for plunder and graft in the Sandiganbayan, was also named respondent in the preliminary investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman announced on Friday it had begun its investigation of the allegations against the three officials, Napoles and several others, including former Bulacan Rep. Arturo Robes, and budget and agrarian reform officials.


They are facing charges of malversation through the falsification of public documents and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for their alleged involvement in the scam.

P220 million for farmers

Field investigation showed that from 2010 to 2011, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) allocated P220 million for livelihood and training projects for farmers in 27 municipalities in the provinces of Isabela, Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Quezon, Batangas, and Pangasinan.

Of that amount, P20 million came from DAR’s regular fund in 2010 that was released “upon the request” of Honasan, while P100 million came from the senator’s 2011 Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), according to the Ombudsman.

The remaining P100 million was sourced from the regular fund for 2011, half of which was released upon the request of Estrada, and the other P50 million for projects endorsed by Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Jerry Pacturan, the Ombudsman said.

“The P220 million remains unliquidated despite several notices of disallowance from the Commission on Audit due to the nonexistence of the projects,” it added.

Under the DAR project, each municipality was supposed to receive funds ranging from P5 million to P10 million through 13 nongovernment organizations (NGOs), the Ombudsman said.


“Actual field verification, however, showed that none of the projects were implemented as they were ’ghost projects’,” it said.

Deliberate use of falsified docs

Documents showed that there was a “deliberate or extensive use of falsified documents and forged signatures in order to fully document, substantiate and justify the disbursement and utilization of the P220 million’,” the Ombudsman said.

Also named in the preliminary investigation were former Agrarian Reform Undersecretaries Narciso Nieto, Pacturan, and Teresita Panlilio; Budget and Management Undersecretary Mario Relampagos; DAR employees Ronald Venancio and Rowena Agbayani;

NGO representatives Evelyn De Leon, John Raymond De Asis, Mylene Encarnacion, Simplicio Gumafelix, Eulogio Rodriguez, Evelyn Miranda, Perfecto Jaime Tagalog, Remo Bana, Michelle Imperial, Richard Tubiera, Lyngie Tubiera, Melinda Calagui, Ronald John Lim Jr.;

Lawyers Donato Manguiat, Editha Talaboc, Mark Oliveros, and Raymond Gerardo Tansip, who notarized the documents; Robes’ wife Florida; Estrada’s staff member Pauline Therese Labayen; and a certain Rodrigo Galay.

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TAGS: agrarian reform, Napoles, pork barrel funds, pork barrel scam, pork scam, Sen. Gregorio Honasan, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada
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