• Farmers dare govt to indict governor in

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    Farmers from Nueva Ecija dared on Wednesday the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAAGCC) formed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Commission on Audit and the Office of the Ombudsman to take as “test case” the 18 graft cases of Gov. Aurelio “Oyie” Umali of Nueva Ecija.

    The group who also attended Monday’s Million People’s March at Luneta led by former Gov. Tomas Joson 3rd of Nueva Ecija, said if DoJ and the Ombudsman are true to their words they should start tackling the cases of Umali who, they claimed, channeled his P15-million pork to two bogus non-government organizations in 2005.

    A copy of Joson’s letter to the National Secretariat of Social Action of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-Nassa), which was furnished to The Manila Times before they joined the march, indicated his disgust over the case he filed against Umali.

    “Many times we have been taunted to be ‘politically driven’ or ‘sore losers’ but we have long accepted that the fight against corruption is not for the faint of hearts or the onion-skinned. We know for a fact that we are not just throwing baseless accusations but we have equipped ourselves with hard and tangible proofs showcasing gut-sickening acts of corruption by Umali. Alas, we have experienced firsthand how making greedy people accountable an elusive reality.

    “As if his involvement in the ‘Joc-joc Bolante fertilizer fund scam’ was not enough as one of the recipient congressmen according to a Senate Report, then Rep. Umali went on for his own scam. He used his PDAF to buy overpriced fertilizers and water pumps through bogus NGOs,” Joson said in his letter addressed to Broderick Pabillo, DD, CBCP-NASSA National Director.

    “To date, we have filed 18 graft and corruption cases against Gov. Umali. Half of these cases have been dismissed and are pending appeal; while half remains unacted upon by the Ombudsman. Among the sleeping cases in the Ombudsman is the ‘Oyie Umali fertilizer fund scam,’” Joson added.

    Joson said he and Nueva Ecija farmers were encouraged by the “people’s uprising” against pork barrel.

    However, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said that they could not use as evidence the latest Commission on Audit report on abuses committed over the PDAF or pork barrel.

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