Alcala should go on leave

Erwin Tulfo

Erwin Tulfo

In 2005, the Department of Agriculture (DA) became the center of national attention when some P700 million of its funds intended for fertilizer ended up in the pockets of several politicians and government officials.

Today, the DA is once more in the limelight following allegations that a big chunk of the P10 billion pork barrel released by lawmakers went to bogus agencies of Janet Napoles that is registered and duly accredited by the said agency.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala was quick to blame his assistant secretary, Ofelia Agawin, for the accreditation of the fake NGOs at DA. His undersecretary, Antonio Fleta, is being blamed for the release of the pork barrel of lawmakers to several dummy corporations of Napoles, the so called “pork barrel queen.”

Surprisingly, Agawin and Fleta were not suspended by Alcala.

The DA’s involvement in the pork barrel scam is just one problem that Alcala has to answer.

Other problems such the nepotism in the agency, smuggling of onions and garlic and questionable rice price increases have to be explained by the agriculture chief, not to mention the three graft cases pending before the Office of the Ombudsman and two more before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Alcala.

If Secretary Alcala still has “delicadeza,” he should go on leave to avoid influencing the investigation.

However, it seems the man does not it.

* * *

Almost everyone made money from PDAF
The public’s suspicion that not only three senators are involved in the pork barrel scam but almost all members of the Senate and House of Representatives may be true after all.

The lawyer of Janet Napoles, Lorna Kapunan, told Radyo 5 last Thursday that almost everyone in the Senate made money out of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Kapunan, presumably speaking based on her client’s confession, said that the scam also involves almost every member of the House.

Worse, even members of the Aquino Cabinet also made millions of pesos out of the people’s money, according to Kapunan.

One can’t help but wonder why Senate President Franklin Drilon refuses to sign the subpoena for Napoles to appear before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee inquiry on the pork barrel scam despite the repeated prodding of Sen. Teofisto Guingona.

Is Drilon afraid that Napoles will spill the beans that will shock the nation?

The suspicion that even allies of Malacanang and some Cabinet members are also involved in this fund mess will persist in the public’s mind unless Napoles will be given a chance to talk to clear those who are innocent and unmask those who made a fortune out of the people’s money.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s sentiments that the Commission on Audit (COA) report accusing him and two other senators of misusing their PDAF is selective may have basis after all.

For heaven’s sake, let Napoles talk!


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  1. let Napoles answer all in court not in senate because once she is in court whatever she says will and can be use as evidence while whatever she says or not in the senate will and can be used as an excuse in the court of laws by plunderer, you saw what happened when they ask Benhur, it almost become a circus with all those irrelevant questions, they are asking questions that will save their thick hides, they are using it to get brownie points to advance their political ambition, Guigona wants to be at par with his father, he got elected not because of his own merit but because of his father’s name and now he see the opportunity and so he is making this grandstanding as if he was the champion against corruption we had in this country. I agree with you that let Napoles talk but in the court of law not in the senate to make it final and no interpretation of what she really is saying.

  2. I still cant understand why she hasnt been questioned by the NBI, in the uk where i come from someone accused of a crime is taken to the police station & questioned that very same day. They depending on the complexity & seriousness of the crime can & are also questioned on many other days. Every questioning is recorded on tape with voice so we see & hear everything. But here in the philippines it doesnt seem to work like that, the system here is again silly & complicated. Without informing the the suspect of every detail ask them questions & have their answers recorded. If they later change their statement then it can be worked out why. Here there is so much paperwork & a huge money trail that it has to include almost if not all politicians that have access to these funds. Its why most of them went into politics in the first place, not as in my country a desire to serve their country & make their country better but to line their pockets with gold. We know that from local up to national politicians they enter politics comfortable & in a few years are extremly rich, but their salaries are not the sorce of their riches & wealth. From the local councillor to the local mayor to law makers to every politician the highest scutiny should be taken against all of them. I dont know how long that would take but it has to be done to rid this country of the corruption thats infested its total infrastructure from top to bottom

  3. While some of these poor scholars are forced to commit suicide for a measly sum of P10,000 she can not shell out as needed, poor folks scavenging for street scraps of food, snatchers and hard core stick up men boldly plying their acts in public transports, streets, homeless people euphemistically disguised as illegal settlers but in the true sense of the word are plain SQUATTERS – These Senators, Congessmen disguised as lawmakers are in fact THIEVES of the Elite Class. So as The LGU’s too.

    These BUNCH of Thieves are entitled to Millions and millions of taxpayers money, ONLY in the Philippines. Wow! What a Rotten system.

  4. If Drilon doesn’t to subpoena Janet Napoles, can she (Napoles) volunteer to appear in the Senate blue ribbon committee?

  5. Bull’s eye! Why would anyone who has nothing to hide not want JLNapoles to talk? I’m also curious about the “three (senators) musketeers” opinion on this.

  6. It’s okay if there are some technical decisions made to block Napoles’ testimon’es. In a manner of speacking, the “smell of the whole rot” is already out….it stinks. No matter how you go around, the people have already an idea how their money is being spuandered by those who are supposed to protect their interests. With the Netizens, the “die is cast”.”Tapos na ang mga maligagayang araw ng mga politiko na “kurakot”…”basang sisiw na silang lahat”. It’s just too bad for the ‘good eggs’, they are being lumped with the bad eggs. It’s been too long!!!