Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Loren Legarda, as well as Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, unlawfully released P40 million of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel to non-government organizations (NGOs) owned by Janet Lim-Napoles.
A Commission on Audit (COA) report on PDAF disbursements in 2012 and 2013 released on Monday showed that the Municipality of Bulakan, Bulacan entered into agreements with NGOs whose identities, existence and capabilities have not been fully established.
“The examination of the documents submitted by the three NGOs showed deficiencies in the documents to support their entitlement to government funds. Moreover, an evaluation of the NGOs’ credentials showed no reasonable proof that they have the capability to implement the livelihood projects of the legislators,” the COA report said.
“The PDAF releases amounting to P40 million did not benefit the targeted beneficiaries or the public. The management [senators]should have not granted the PDAF to these NGOs to implement their projects given that they were not able to comply with the requisites for entitlement to government funds. The expenditures thereon are deemed irregular and disallowed in audit,” it added.
Marcos poured P15 million of his PDAF into questionable NGOs broken down to P10 million for NGO Health Education Assistance Resettlement Training Services (Hearts) released on June 4, 2012 and P5 million to the Countrywide Agricultural and Rural Economic Foundation, Inc. (CARED) released on January 2, 2013. The allotments were for Vermi-Composting Materials and Purchase of High Value Crop, respectively.
Estrada granted P10 million of his PDAF to CARED twice (P5 million in February 27, 2012 and P5 million in March 30, 2012). The two allotments were for livelihood projects for Micro Entrepreneur and Small Farmers and Purchase of High Value Crop P5 million, respectively.
Enrile gave P10 million of his pork barrel to Kaupdanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation, Inc. (KMFI) on May 23, 2012 for a Livelihood Project on Organic Farming for High Value Crop.
Legarda earmarked P5 million of her PDAF to CARED on August 24, 2012 for the Purchase of High Value Crop, P5 million.
COA noted that the Independent Auditor’s Report and the accompanying financial statements on CARED and KMFI were not stamped by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Securities and Exchange Commission to show proof of filing. In addition, the funds received from these foundations were the only sources of funds of these NGOs, thus casting doubt on their capabilities to implement the projects.
As a general rule, funds granted to a foundation should directly benefit its members or target beneficiaries.
“Ocular inspection conducted to establish the existence of these two NGOs showed that they have no offices in their declared official address.
We were not able to locate the offices at the addresses stated per their official records, thus the given addresses were not true as far as their existence,” COA said.