• COA chief bares bigger ‘pork’ scam

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     Despite intermittent rain, members of the Abolish Pork movement held a quiet rally in front of the Supreme Court building in Manila on Tuesday as they waited for the High Court’s decision on petitions questioning the legality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program. They waited in vain since the tribunal did not come out with a ruling. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    Despite intermittent rain, members of the Abolish Pork movement held a quiet rally in front of the Supreme Court building in Manila on Tuesday as they waited for the High Court’s decision on petitions questioning the legality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program. They waited in vain since the tribunal did not come out with a ruling. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    AFTER months of digging up and poring over documents, state auditors have unearthed another massive pork barrel-related anomaly that could dwarf the P10-billion scam allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

    The Commission on Audit (COA) discovered that at least P16.9-billion infrastructure projects bankrolled by the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of lawmakers and the Malampaya gas fund were either grossly overpriced or peppered with irregularities.

    The projects, implemented from 2009 to 2010 by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), involved 13 contractors — Antonio V. Nidea Const. (P845 million), Sunwest Const. and Dev’t (P1.9 billion), DSB Const. (P789 million), N-Four General Contr. (P25 million), Hi-Tone (P2.7 billion), Three W Builders (P2.14 billion), Ram Builders (P2.39 billion), I and E Construction (P1.07 billion), Algimar Const. (P668 million), Ferdstar Builders (P822 million), Ritz Commercial (P614 million), E. Gardiola Const. (P3.59 billion) and LMG Construction (P581 million).

    These contactors had projects in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 4a, 5, 6,8 and 11.

    COA Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan unveiled the anomalous projects on Tuesday when she attended the House inquiry into the P30-billion funds of the DPWH that went missing before then-President Gloria Arroyo stepped down in 2010.

    In a power point presentation, Tan showed COA’s latest updates on the ongoing Special Audit Report on the irregular infrastructure projects.

    She noted that the transactions involving the 13 contractors were made without funding cover, without notice of award and contract and were implemented despite the absence of formal transmittal of Special Allotment Release Orders (Saros) and Notice of Cash Allowance from the Department of Budget and Management.

    Some of the projects were funded by DPWH savings but had no appropriate realignment authority, did not undergo procurement processes, were done without pre-procurement conferences by the Bids and Awards Committee and/or were non-compliant with required eligibility evaluation process.

    Also, COA unearthed multiple contracts grossly exceeding the contractors’ net financing and constructing capacities; delayed/substandard/poorly implemented projects; contracts with bidding deficiencies or unauthorized signatories; and deficient surety bonds. Some of the projects were not completed.

    “These [findings]are based on disbursement records, vouchers, checks. There were so many red flags that we decided to subject these [contracts]to fraud audit because they [auditors]are better trained [at spotting fraudulent transactions],” Tan told the House Committee on Good Government.

    “This is a continuous, laborious process. This is going to take a while but we are getting there. We hope to finish it by the end of the year and forward it to the Ombudsman,” she said, referring to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

    The Notice of Disallowance issued by COA as a result of these irregularities amounted to P184 million. Of the amount, P29 million involved projects in Region 3, P14 million in Region 4A, P18 million in Region 7 and P121 million in Region 11.

    A Notice of Disallowance means that the lawmaker or the government official who released funding for a certain project should return such amount to the government. To date, the government has only recovered P17 million of the P184 million covered by the Notice of Disallowance.

    Tan, however, would not say if the P10.6 billion earlier revealed by Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways as shady fund releases for infrastructure projects is included in the P16.9-billion infrastructure projects tainted with irregularities.

    Aside from the Special Audit on the P16.9-billion infrastructure projects, COA is also conducting a Special Audit on the P32-billion Malampaya fund covering 2002 to 2013, the National Food Authority, Light Rail Transit and at least P1-billion worth of right-of- way projects for NorthRail.

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    11 Comments

    1. diversionary tactics ng pork barrel king and yellow retards. COA pa “as if” na meron ginagawa…show us the audit for 2010 – 2013!

    2. Can we not come up with a solution to prevent these corrupt practices of our government officials or are we going to just roll our eyes and consider it us normal practice in our country. Say it is not so, raise hell and get those smiling politicians on the front page of the papers (Enrile, Jinggoy and Revilla) incarcerated in the Bilibid Prison, not in luxurious hospitals or ranches.

    3. This is the main reason that we should pass the Freedom Of Information Bill.With our present advance technology and with the help of NBI , other private investigators, and with our heroic and patriotic whistle blowers, it would be easier to track down the illegal activities of all these sleek hoodlums..The National Bureau of Investigation should be funded and expanded to cover independent investigations of all these thieveries in our government system regardless of party affiliation. They should carry out sting operations and other methods to catch all of the undesirables whose only mission is to loot our treasury.
      On the other hand, If our Justice System is so inept and has a slower than a snail pace , possibly politicized and corrupt , then nothing will change.
      Let us keep the people power on the streets on a daily basis , more vigilant and more vocal
      to demand action and results. Stop all the political grand standing, all the moro moro shows in the senate blue committee hearings, Start the with the trials and prosecutions and sentencing…. We need some action NOW..

    4. After this DPWH P17B anomaly, COA’s Tan should investigate also the DEPED anomaly as exposed by Mr. Erwin Tulfo in his columns. Investigate the present and past DEPED officials, if possible, subject all ( DPWH & DEPED ) of them to life style check, Di BA HO Bayan?

    5. Rocky Coronel on

      This COA report would again trigger series of protests among the enemies of this administration because these anomalies happened during the term of GMA. Are we not glad that these irregularities are now exposed? The oppositions and haters of this administration might just prefer a status quo where crooks a having their field day because the ones on top are also busy making money from illegal means.

    6. Pete Gabriel on

      We are just a nation corrupted. Why are the Filipinos not going up in arms. Why are we not kicking the Chinese’s out of the Philippines. To me they are the cause of all that is evil in the Philippines. They are all agents of communist China, intent on de-stabilizing the Philippines.

      • Hopefully not, most Chinese descent Filipinos whose ancestors came to the Philippines ( to escape communism) now are mostly successful businessmen and contributed greatly to the Philippine economy , have adopted Philippines as their home and living peacefully as Filipino citizens. May God bless the Philippines.

    7. Mon Magbanua on

      This is long time coming. The bag man of GMA then was the DPWH Secretary so all the budget and transactions of DPWH from 2002 upt o 2010 are subjected to fraud, midnight contracts, ghost deliveries and overpricing. It is no wonder that the former DPWH Secretary and now Governor of Zambales had amassed a billion dollar fortune. His present racket now is bagmen for the Chinese miners, construction magnates and chinese contractors doing reclamation work for chinese bases in Scarborough/Bajo Masinloc and Spratleys. The source of reclamation materials are from Zambales mining areas. Tsk, tsk, Thief and Traitor. Back to COA audit, they should also audit DILG from 2014 back (unlimited) for the scam involving Internal Revenue Allocation for LGUs which has been running into trillions of funds that should have developed all municipalities and cities a hundred times over had those funds been used wisely for the purposes documented.

    8. Andres R. Samson on

      File the charges and indict. Try the parties in a court of law, not public opinion. Once found guilty, execute by guillotine at Roxas Boulevard between the MYC and the USEMB as a final homage to their loyalty to the Grand Marion.