The 10 Billion Pork Barrel Scam

Topics: Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla, United States Senate Pages: 5 (1747 words) Published: December 18, 2013
Napoles has been alleged of having engineered a PHP 10 billion scam over the past decade by using the pork barrel funds of 5 senators and 23 Congressmen for ghost projects. She was even tagged as the alleged mother of the PHP 10 billion pork barrel scam. Napoles' firm was allegedly tapped for government-funded projects that were later found questionable. The “so-called projects” include the PHP 728 million funds for a fertilizer project for poor farmers. It was alleged that the fund was diverted to benefit politicians and the former President. The Fertilizer fund scam is a political scandal that involved the officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and local and national government officials during the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration. Agricultural funds which amount to PHP 728 million and PHP 1.1 billion released in 3 February 2004 and 11 February 2004 respectively were allegedly misused and utilized to finance Arroyo's campaign before the May 2004 Presidential Elections. Napoles was even summoned to a Senate blue ribbon committee hearing in 2008 to talk about the scam. However, no charges were officially filed against her. Merlina Pablo Sunas, an employee of Napoles whom she had appointed as president of a bogus non-government organization called People's Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc. (POPDFI), currently stands as a witness against Napoles. In an interview with the Inquirer, Luy claimed that JLN offered 40 to 60 percent of the amount of PDAF to commissioners in exchange for the right to determine the implementing agency and fund beneficiary. Sunas told NBI that a “concealed deal” happened between Benhur Luy, Napoles' personal assistant and the whistleblower of the pork barrel scam, and government officials. The latter discovered that the amount of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) given to her by a certain senator was small because Luy had hidden transactions. Sunas added that their foundations were founded to receive government funds that were remitted to her many bank accounts. The money will eventually be split between her and the lawmaker whose PDAF allotment was used or the official of the state agency involved. Luy added that several properties supposedly acquired by Napoles in the course of her illegal activities. These include: Houses and lots located at high-end subdivisions like Forbes Park in Makati, Ayala Alabang Village, the whole 25th floor of Discovery Center in Pasig City Units in Serendra and Pacific Plaza Towers (18-B and South Garden Unit) and AFPVOI Village (lots only) Expensive vehicles like Range Rover (PN TIN 11), white Porsche Cayenne (CYN 98), white Toyota Alphard, BMW, Tahoe, Chevrolet, two Ford E-150, Starex Gold, Toyota Prado, Savanna GMC, Lincoln Navigator, Hummer, Land Rover, Honda Civic and Mercedez Benz

Sunas alleged that NGOs benefited from the PHP 900 million Malampaya Fund but “no deliveries of supplies were ever made and that fake liquidation papers were submitted by the implementing agencies.” It was alleged by Luy, Sunas, and other whistleblowers that the JLN forged signatures of fictitious individuals to organize POPDFI and other Non-government organizations (NGOs). Said NGOs include Kaupdanan Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Social Foundation, Pangkabuhayan Foundation and Masaganang Ani Foundation. Napoles' lawyer Jean-Paul Acut said Napoles was not involved in the fertilizer fund scam and has nothing to do with the alleged forging of signatures even the formation of the NGOs. He added that the issue was blown out of proportions by individuals in an attempt to extort money from her client. Napoles and her brother, Reynaldo Lim, were earlier charged by the NBI for detaining Luy. The Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the complaint for lack of probable cause. DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima refused to give more details given the gravity of the allegations. The investigation will be kept under wraps until the NBI...
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