May 23, 2017

Noynoy's big secret revealed: P220 B Pork Barrel Not Audited?

Aquino's Secret Revealed: Why no audit Php 220 Billion 'Pork'
Former Press Secretary Rigoberto Tiglao stated the details on what did the former president Benigno Aquino III did to avoid probe on his pork barrel. 

“The first is the fact that with the utter demonization of “pork barrel queen” Janet Lim Napoles, the Aquino government has covered up the bigger operations of a mysterious person or gang that in fact siphoned off P4 billion of taxpayers’ money into legislators’ pockets. That is practically double the P2.2 billion Napoles allegedly handled,” Mr. Tiglao stated.




Mr. Tiglao cited the second diversion was the involvement of the three prominent and famous senators and front-runners of the opposition namely Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla. Although this scam comprises 325 congressmen and 17 senators, the DOJ, investigators of the Ombudsman and the witnesses disfavored the senators and focused the spotlight on the three. The three were speculated to run as president and vice president that time.

Mr. Tiglao said that pounding the two senators- Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, arrested them and imprison them as if they are found guilty in the said cases and branded them as corrupt officials will give favor to Mar Roxas who happens to be the president’s bet for the 2016 Presidential Elections. He raised on inquiry that is it not favorable for the rating of Mar Roxas who has a falling rate of 17% while his opposing aspirant Jejomar Binay, associates of Enrile and Estrada, soared up to 57%. 

The third cover up according to Mr. Tiglao was the COA’s inefficiency to audit the expenditures on Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)  or the Pork Barrel Fund for the period of 2010- 2013. The commission did not audit the ‘pork barrel’ of Noynoy Aquino, or the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP funds) which was believed to be unconstitutional. The total amount released on PDAF for the period of 2010-2013 reached up to Php62.5 billion while the funds released on 2007-2009, which was subjected to subject of the current pork-barrel cases at the Sandiganbayan amounted to Php26.1 billion. It was evident that the disbursements increased into 239%.
Photo from Infographic by R. Tiglao
On the other hand, Mr. Tiglao presented the total disbursed amount from DAP, amounting to Php 157 billion from 2011 to 2013, in reference to official data from the Budget department itself (www.gov.ph/2013/10/07/qa-on-the-disbursement-acceleration-program).



Mr. Tiglao remarked that the COA was able to ignore the ‘suspicious’ funds released under Aquino’s administration in his first three years Php 220 billion in totality. 

Mr. Tiglao also said that COA Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan—who demonized Janet Lim Napoles by branding the utilization of 2007-2009 pork barrel funds as “kahindik-hindik”. He also presented four questions for Chairman Tan to asnwers:

  • Has she issued the office directive ordering the COA’s special audits unit to undertake an audit of the PDAF from 2010-2013, and of the DAP from 2011-2013, in the rigorous manner the agency audited the funds released from 2007 to 2009? It is not just me who’s asking for an audit of the PDAF funds from 2010-2012. It was the second highest official of land, Vice President Jejomar Binay, who as early as last year, and as reported in newspapers on August 31, 2013, demanded that the auditing should not only include the years 2007 to 2009, but also the years until 2012.
  • Is the Department of Budget and Management cooperating fully in providing the COA all the documents it has been asking for? (For the 2007-2009 audit, it refused to surrender all documents the COA asked for, most probably those dealing with Aquino’s allies and Liberal Party stalwarts.)
  • Given the fact that such an audit of Aquino’s PDAF and DAP would clear the COA and this administration of the accusations that they are not really on an anti-corruption drive but on a campaign to bury the political opposition, has Tan deployed more auditors so the audits can be accelerated, considering the amounts involved are eight times bigger than those for 2007-2009?
  • Can she promise the nation that the audit of Aquino’s pork barrel will be finished this year, and not after the 2016 elections?

Mr. Tiglao also wondered that Chairman Tan would delay or hinder the audit of Aquino’s pork barrel as for then President Noynoy Aquino to return the favor to her and have that as a ticket for her to be appointed as a Supreme Court justice? He urged also the Commission to instantaneously audit Aquino’s pork since it involves a very huge amount.

Mr. Tiglao also stated that Aquino used the PDAF and DAP to bribe the house in charging then Chief Justice Renato Corona, and then the senators find him guilty.



“This has been established not only by testimony of those receiving the funds (it was Jinggoy Estrada who exposed it in October 2013), but also by the timing of the funds’ releases. (See my columns: “P559 million released before Senate vote vs. Corona”, Sept. 29, 2013 and “DBM data confirms P100M ‘bribe’ to 16 senators each,” Oct 3. 2013.),” Mr. Tiglao cited.

He also raised a very interesting question, as we quote, “With Aquino bribing congressmen and senators by throwing at them millions of pesos worth of pork barrel funds, would he or his officials have tightened up procedures to make sure that the legislators don’t steal the proceeds, as they had done in 2007-2009?”

There were also speculations that Napoles and other masterminds stole the pork barrel fund as the bribe given by Aquino to oust Corona from the Supreme Court. It was also noticeable that Napoles surrendered in MalacaƱang and Aquino accompanied her towards the police station. Mr. Tiglao also wondered if the fund scam involved Florencio Abad, since the former DBM Secretary was a congressman and knows everything about handling people’s money, how the scam could pass under his nose.

“For all of Aquino’s sickening blah-blahs about 'walang mahirap kung walang corrupt,' did he ever talk against the pork barrel system before it was exposed in 2013? Since he, and he alone, directed the use of the DAP, Aquino used these funds as his own personal treasury. Undeniably, Aquino’s hands are tainted with pork barrel money,” said Mr. Tiglao.

He also noted the COA’s wrong prioritization to audit transactions and supported Aquino’s staged anti-graft campaign.

He also cited their attempt to pin down former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the COA took a special audit of P900 million of the Malampaya funds utilized last 1999 through the agrarian reform department which commenced on 2011. Aquino granted the DAP funds for the “development project” in ARMM, which amounted to Php 8.6 billion. 

Chairman Tan must order for the instant audit on former president’s pork barrel fund to prove that COA is not a pretentious institution which fought against corruption, otherwise, the COA will be branded as another organization infiltrated by Aquino and his cohorts. As Mr. Tiglao wrote in his article, “For all its posturing as an anti-corruption body, the COA under Tan will be judged by history as another institution prostituted by Aquino, unless she orders the audit of this president’s P220 billion pork barrel, the biggest amount of government money ever put under a president’s sole whim in our history, and the biggest secret of all in this saga."

Source: Manila Times



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