Alcala real conduit to fake NGOs, says farmers group

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THE Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) on Thursday said that Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala is the real conduit to fake non-government organizations as proven by Occidental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali’s claim that Alcala knew about Janet Lim-Napoles’ involvement in the pork barrel scam.

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“Rep. Umali’s statement clearly shows that the Department of Agriculture and Alcala are the real conduit of Napoles,” KMP secretary general Antonio Flores said in a statement.

Reports said Umali’s P10 million allocation to an NGO allegedly owned by Napoles did not come from his pork barrel but from the “priority development fund” of Alcala.

Umali was referring to the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), which has a proposed budget of P1.67 billion in 2014, a fund that Alcala can allocate to lawmakers and local government officials of his liking.

Umali accounted for P10 million of the P80 million given by the DA in 2012 to Kaupdanan Para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc. (KPMI), led by John Raymond de Asis, an employee of Napoles’ JLN Corp.

“Only 15 percent representing the mobilization fee of the P10 million for the allocation of the second district of Oriental Mindoro was released under special allotment release order (Saro) E-11-0016772 chargeable against the priority development fund of the Department of Agriculture not my PDAF [Priority Development Assistance Fund] as erroneously reported in the media for the HVCDP,” the report said, quoting Umali’s letter to Alcala.

Umali used KPMI as a conduit for Alcala’s PDF because it was accredited by the DA.

“Umali’s statement revealed that Alcala is knowledgeable not only on the accreditation of Napoles NGOs but all of its illegal transactions and methods,” Flores said, adding that Alcala’s approval of the release shows his knowledge and consent making him similarly accountable for plunder of agricultural funds and the people’s money.

The KMP however said they are not buying Umali’s statement that he “had documents to prove that the amount released to KPMI went to 76 farmer organizations and individuals under the Farmers Organization for the Rural Upliftment of Mindoro, which took care of distributing a package of backpack sprayer and foliar to 1,294 farmer-beneficiaries.”

“Granting for the sake of argument that Umali and Napoles’ non-government organizations distributed so-called packages, the P10 million is too much. It will not cost P5 million,” Flores said, noting that “1,294 backpack sprayers would cost P2.588 million at P2,000 each and could be cheaper when bought wholesale.”

“On the other hand, Umali, Napoles, and Alcala and the rest of the DA syndicate never learned from the P728 million fertilizer fund scam. Foliar fertilizer was the very same fertilizer supplied by the DA that was overpriced and inappropriate for farmers because this type of fertilizer is for ornamental plants and not rice,” Flores said.

“Nevertheless, we strongly doubt the distribution of so-called ‘packages’ or if Umali’s documents are genuine. This is only aimed to exonerate himself,” he said, adding that Napoles’ bogus NGOs are notorious in using fake documents and signatures.

“For the ninth time, we call on Alcala to step down and submit himself to an independent investigation, and be accountable for plunder,” the KMP said.

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