• Aquino used agrarian reform funds as pork barrel

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    More and more, President Aquino seems to deserve the Pork Barrel King moniker.

    It wasn’t just money from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)—the official pork-barrel kitty—and later from the Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP) that President Aquino used to bribe senators for their support, especially for the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

    Aquino even converted as pork-barrel funds money from the Agrarian Reform Fund (ARF), set up way back in 1987 and sourced from the proceeds of the sale to private groups of government assets and the recovery of the so-called ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos couple and their cronies.

    Booked in the government’s accounting system as “Fund 158,” the ARF money is administered by the Land Bank of the Philippines, and intended mainly for the comprehensive agrarian reform program. It is money basically for peasants.

    Sources from the budget department and the Commission on Audit claimed that Aquino could have used about P700 million of the ARF as pork-barrel funds in 2011 and 2012, a big chunk of which ended up in lawmakers’ pockets through “Napoles-type” of scams.

    Letter from 2011 Chairman of Senate Finance Committee F. M. Drilon to Sen. Gregorio Honasan transmtting a copy of a P100 million SARO under DAR.

    Letter from 2011 Chairman of Senate Finance Committee F. M. Drilon to Sen. Gregorio Honasan transmtting a copy of a P100 million SARO under DAR.

    They were referring to the alleged operations of the now infamous Janet Lim-Napoles to siphon pork-barrel funds to fake NGOs, by which lawmakers got part of the money as kickbacks.

    Use of ARF money illegal
    The use by Aquino of these huge ARF sums however is illegal not only because of one reason the Supreme Court recently gave in declaring all pork barrel funds unconstitutional, which is that lawmakers cannot be involved in the expenditure of the government budget.

    More clearly, Aquino’s the use of ARF funds was because these had been released without resolutions by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council’s Executive Committee, as required by law. The budget department cannot just on its own take money from the ARF; the transaction has to be approved by that committee.

    The agrarian reform secretary chairs this committee, whose other members are the Executive Secretary, the secretaries of the departments of agriculture, environment and natural resources, finance, public works and highways as well as the chairman of the Land Bank of the Philippines.

    In a full-blown investigation, each of these officials would have to choose whether to lie for Aquino or tell the truth that they didn’t approve or sign any resolution for such use of the funds.

    The sources claimed that the P220 million that Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Anthony Parungao recently claimed had been endorsed by Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Gregorio Honasan and released to fund nonexistent “agrarian reform projects” by dubious nongovernment agencies was just a part of the total ARF funds that Aquino used as pork-barrel money.

    “It was clearly Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s idea, as he was familiar with these funds when he was agrarian reform secretary under Cory [President Corazon],” a source said. He probably thought the use of some of these ARF funds, as pork barrel would escape scrutiny.

    A COA audit, contained in its Audit Observation Memorandum dated March 25, 2013, concluded that about P170 million of the P220 million was disbursed to fake NGOs, seven of which had been identified as fronts of Napoles by his employee Benhur Luy.

    These were supposed to be spent for projects undertaken by “agrarian reform communities” mainly (and strangely) for vermi-composting (the use of certain worms to compost waste without using chemicals) and the distribution of fertilizers and chemicals to farmers.

    Ghost projects
    A field investigation by the COA, however, found no such projects implemented or being implemented. The mayors who were supposed to be partners in the projects were totally unaware of them.

    The sources so far provided actual documents however solely in the case of such projects “endorsed” by Sen. Gregorio Honasan.

    Obviously in response to Honasan’s request, Sen. Franklin Drilon, then the chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Finance who allegedly was Aquino’s liaison man in that body to distribute pork-barrel funds of any type, sent an official letter to Honasan, dated February 15, 2011 which read: (see page 1)

    Attached to Drilon’s letter was a photocopy of Special Allotment Release Order No. E-11-00282 darted February 8, 2011 for the amount of P100 million. The SARO was signed by Budget Undersecretary Mario L. Relampagos, with the note. “By Authority of the Secretary.” The SARO indicated the fund code: 158, which means it was drawn from the Agrarian Reform Fund, and not from the PDAF, which is a separate item in the appropriations laws.

    The COA and the agrarian reform undersecretary for legal affairs followed the paper trail on the use of the P100 million, and undertook actual investigations, and found that the bulk of the money was released to fake NGOs for nonexistent projects.

    “What is strange though is why only documents involving Jinggoy and Honasan’s pork barrel from ARF funds are being released by the agrarian reform department,” a budget department source said. Several other senators, including those in Aquino’s camp had availed of this ARF ‘pork-barrel,’ the source added.

    Aquino and the Senate apparently had concluded an agreement in late 2010, that for the body to be really supportive, especially of the President’s unprecedented plot to take out Chief Justice Corona that year, the regular PDAF of P200 million yearly for each senator wasn’t enough. After all the senators thought they had a right to it as they make the budget law, and without that PDAF, there wouldn’t be a budget law.

    Being a former agrarian reform secretary, Abad knew that the ARF could be tapped as pork barrel funds. But Abad—and probably Relampagos—later thought that the easier way would be to get money from various departments, by simply declaring some of their allocations as “savings.”

    As a smokescreen, they used such dubious “savings” for other projects they preferred, and called such impounding and utilization of funds allocated by the budget laws as “Disbursement Acceleration Plan.”

    Instead, that scheme, when the Supreme Court rules it as unconstitutional, would probably accelerate the unraveling of Aquino’s regime.

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
    www.trigger.ph www.rigobertotiglao.com

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    29 Comments

    1. Are all these anomalies not enough to banish this idiot pretender in the palace for good? Where are these opposition members of yore who have been so loud in condemning every evil deed they see in GMAs administration? Perhaps you have been silenced as well by golden promises and rewards from this pickpocket disguised as a president in the palace. You have also sold out your soul and dignity? Losers, you are owned by a retarded devil incarnate…

      • Josefino…you know why, because its made up allegation..can’y present evidence and all are hearsy. if its true, Mr. Tiglao himself will bring it to court. He knows where to go, as the former cabinet of the former Pres. Arroyo and adviser. Why no action from him, because of lack of evidence and tsismis he heared fro a tabloid magazine full of entriga.

    2. ito ba ang tuwid nadaan? san papatungong daan??? sa impyerno??? ang batas ng ARF sa administrasyon ng yumaong Cory Aquino and binalasubas ng kanyang abnoy na anak ang hari ng mga hari ng Kurapsyon… kahit na na nagdeklaa ang SC na unconstitutional anf pork barrel nagbibingihan parin si Abnoy patuloy parin ang pagiging special child nya na kunwaring di alam at ano naman ang magagawa ni Sereno?, eh tuta din yan ni ni Abnoy? abangan nalang ang sususnod na kabanata na gagawin ng SC let be vigilant of observing the SC if they are really independent branch of the government and if they can do something lawful against the Abnoy’s administration of these rampant issues on corruptions,

    3. We the filipino-Americans must do our part and write our state rep and Senators—WE MUST INFORM THE US GOV.- since they are the guarantor of our funds —we can only stop that tyrant if we take away all the funds going to that goverment—-

      WE MUST DO OUR PART AND ASK THE WORLD BANK TO WITHOLD ALL THE AID AND LOANS FOR THE AQUINO ADM–

      SINCE ITS BEING USED TO CORRUPT AND OPPRESS THE POOR PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES ANYWAY……..WE MUST RISE UP AGAINST THIS TYRANT !!!!!

      • Gloria M. Kuizon on

        Reply to TBlue

        Please don’t be too hasty about your plan.
        Even if the Aquino Adminnistration people got all the aid for themselves, they would still not be able to eat and use up all the food and money only for themselves. Some, actually, a lot will still go to the people, albeit their friends. With that the Philippine situation will still improve, misery will somewhat be reduced.
        What you propose will kill more Filipinos but not the bad guys of the Aquino administration but the ordinary and poor Filipinos.
        That is exactly what the New People’s Army and its mother oranization, the Communist Party of the Philippines, want.
        TBlue are you perhaps one of them?

    4. >>>ang mga Pilipino sabi nga..likas na madaling maniwala at madaling amuin, pero matagal at mabagal umunawa at magka-isa. Maliban na lamang kung ang bawat-isa ay pare-pareho nasa peligroso, tiyak magkaka-isa sa pag-NGAWA, AT SAMA-SAMA NAKA-NGANGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH !!!
      DAHIL ANG MGA PILIPINIO AY WALANG KADALA-DALA !!!

    5. when pnoy leaves office after his term ha cannot be sued like pgma. a person who is suffering from severe mental illness is exempted from criminal act. his case is unique, it is contagious. see the people around him. impeach him? by who? never, they are all the same but tiny few..

    6. Why wait for the end of his term? do it now, this guy being a bachelor with a lot of money will just abscond, with Drillons, De Lima Abad etc following suit. Mark my word. NOW IS THE TIME!!! Lets have a bit of faith on our Supreme Court. Let the military take over for a while until we get the right people in Government. Lets dissolve the government first, it stinks, when a fish starts to rot, it starts from the head.

      • Asa ka pa ha :)) Tapos na maliligayang araw nyo. Ngayon gusto mo na naman humirit ng coup d état. Give it up man.

    7. What now? isn’t these present Government and its underlings a MAFIA SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION? Who can deny this now!!! BEWARE PHILIPPINES.

    8. if you believe in what you claim is the truth, file it in the regular court! you are not being patriotic or helping the nation if you continue to present your case in the courts of public opinion. people will only laugh at you for your because everybody knows that you have an axe to grind with this administration.

      I urge you sir, file it in the regular courts if you believe that it stands a chance of scrutiny!!!

      • Gloria M. Kuizon on

        My reply to Mon about his taunt to Tiglao, asking the columnist to file cases in court against the corrupt and negligent offficials he exposes:
        Although Tiglao used to be a Cabinet member of the Arroyo administration and Philippine ambassador to Greev, he is now a private citizen. Maybe he is in the payroll of former president GMA and her husband, Mike Arroyo, who knows?

        But you cannot ask a private citizen to go to the courts against powerful government officials, Mr. Mon. It’s the job of government agencies to go after the corrupt and the abusers.

        Columnists, whatever their motives, are only using their freedom to express themselves. Their exposes of the facts, if accurate and truthful is enough great service to the nation and the people and even God.

        You should instead help pressure the government agencies and people, even those known to be Aquino’s KKKs, to do what is right and fight abuse and corruption — just like the Hyatt 10 did against GMA. Of course we all knpw the Hyatt 10 supported by the Yellow Army are now the biggest defenders of wrongdoing in the government. But we should encourage other Aquino officials and friends to do what is right in the eyes of GOD.

        Gloria M/ Kuizon
        Novalichjes, QX

    9. Darewin Ocampo on

      Yet another reason why presidential discretionary funds AKA presidential pork barrel should also be abolished along with congressional and senate PDAF.

    10. Bonifacio B. Claudio on

      Yes, Sir… Even before the impeachment of CJ Renato Corona, the air is pervaded by a fear of an incoming “ABSOLUTE DICTATORSHIP” by the Executive branch… as Carlito said, and I quote, “… Aquino, Drilon, DBM Abad, etc. are not above the law. They should all be removed from office by way of impeachment, etc. but right now, Aquino’s tentacles are holding the helpless Senators, Congressmen and heads of government offices. .” Isn’t the independence of the SC put to the test as it is perceived to be majority pro-Aquino… Let us (to) see… hehehe…

    11. The latest malacanang internal survey of Pnoy’s trust rating is now at -6.

      Pabagsak na talaga ang walang kwentang presidenteng ito…

      Supreme Court, please decide in favor of a clean government, Pnoy is now the lamest of the lameducks….don’t be intimidated by him, anymore…

      Go for the people’s side, declare all the unconstitutionality of Abad, Drilon, Belmonte and Pnoy’s acts…

    12. Ramon Gonzalez on

      Don’t we have laws to regulate this anomalies or the president is in power to do what he pleases.

    13. matakaw sila lahat sa pera!!! dati usapan million lang ngayon 100s of million na o di kaya billion

    14. Abad looms large in the shenanigans of pork barrel funds. He emerges as the Rasputin of this administration. And the criminal mind behind the plunder of taxpayers’ money.

    15. florentino maddara on

      Maraming problema ang bayan natin: Selfish and corrupt officials, high cost of electricity, damaged and unprotected environment (due to black sand mining and illegal logging), slow justice system, 15% rich elite lang ang yumayaman while the majority poor are getting poorer, service oriented economy instead of industry based, all gov transactions are designed to have red tape, marami pa at kung walang mga OFW na nagpapadala ng dollars baka matagal na tayong pinulot sa kangkungan.

    16. May I inquire, after impeachment who will you recommend to lead the nation? Maybe you should recommend someone and explain why he/she is more suitable and corrupt free officials. The people that you mentioned here are the only less evil left in the goverment. People all knows that 99% of the government officers, legislators, even staff, the media can be bribe with money. People bribe them with money because they themselves wont cooperate or do their duty if they were not given money.

      • Darewin Ocampo on

        So are you trying to say that Pnoy’s bribing of other officials is justified because he does so to force them to cooperate or do their duty?

    17. Netizens should keep up with what is being ‘exposed’, one way or the other, lest we’ll still be wondering why our country hasn’t improved at all; why the government is still corrupt, at the ‘end of the day. We should play our part. Else, Quo Vadis, Philippines?

    18. These congressmen and senators no longer deserves to be called honorable. Instead,
      they should be called crocodiles and leeches of government. They all have thick
      faces. The basis are: They allowed themselves to be bribed into removing Corona;
      they partook of the PDAP loot; they are being used by the pork barrel king to get
      back at his enemies. This abnoy no longer follow the laws whether divine law or
      the constitution. PDAP? The supreme court declared it as unconstitutional. You can
      not see this abnoy to be following the divine law either, that is humanitarian forgiveness. Mandela of South Africa was incarcerated for 27 years but when he
      got out from prison, he reached out to his people and his hands of forgiveness to
      his enemies. He was a true statesman and a true leader to his people. He was
      able to unify his people and abolished the apartheid. This pork barrel king abnoy is
      just the opposite. Instead of unifying filipinos, he promotes hatred and goes after
      his enemies. Fellow filipinos, wake up.

    19. Another Aquino mess.

      The Philippine Congress is powerless. It was not able to stop President Aquino in legislating the so called “savings and impounded” funds of the different government agencies to advance his political and personal ambitions like removing Chief Justice Renato Corona. He was able to bribe the “honorable” Senators and Congressmen by giving them 200 million and 100 million respectively.

      The bribery was done with Senator Franklin Drilon and others. Aquino used the DBM Secretary to release these funds through so called “DAP” funds from the savings/impounded funds of all government agencies including the Agrarian Reform Funds mentioned in this article, all because of a section in the 1987 Philippine Constitution allowing government agencies to spend their savings.

      It is time to repeal these provision, because President Aquino is using this section to advance his political and personal needs. No one is able the law. This is the golden rule. Aquino, Drilon, DBM Abad, etc. are not above the law. They should all be removed from office by way of impeachment, etc. but right now, Aquino’s tentacles are holding the helpless Senators, Congressmen and heads of government offices.

      Hindi sila makapalag. Hindi ma-impeach si Aquino, Senator Drilon, Secretary Abad, etc.