No Blue Ribbon call for JPE, Jinggoy, Bong

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THE Senate Blue Ribbon committee does not see the need to summon the three senators who reportedly channeled their pork barrel funds to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs), even if their names kept cropping up during the proceedings.
Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd, Blue Ribbon chairman, said the story was still unfolding and more information had to be acquired.

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But ultimately, it is up for the three—Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr., and Jinggoy Estrada—to decide if they will go before the committee and answer the allegations.

Former officials of National Agribusiness Corp (Nabcor) and the Zamboanga Rubber Estate Corporation (ZREC) who testified at the committee hearing on Thursday all pointed to Enrile, Revilla and Estrada as having channeled their pork barrel fund to questionable NGOs.

The names of the three were also prominent in the presentation of Commission on Audit (COA) of Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan during the Blue Ribbon’s first hearing on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Enrile and Estrada claimed the signatures of their staff members were forged to make it appear they had approved the transfer of their PDAF to several NGOs.

Estrada has said his office discovered that the signatures of his staffers that appeared on the documents obtained by COA were forged.

But Pulido-Tan said Enrile and Revilla confirmed signing for the release of P145 million from their pork barrel to bogus projects of NGOs linked to Janet Lim-Napoles, who is said to have masterminded the pork barrel scam.

“We asked concerned authorities for confirmation of their signatures in the documents sourced from government agencies regarding the utilization of (pork barrel) funds,” Pulido-Tan said.

Sen. Francis Escudero said it was up to the three lawmakers to attend the inquiry, but assured that the doors of the committee will always be open for them.

Escudero said Senate rules on inquiries assured the right of anyone, mentioned during the course of the Blue Ribbon hearing to be given a chance to air his or her side.

“But we cannot compel them to attend the Blue Ribbon hearings,” Escudero told reporters on Friday.

Asked if the committee had found any indication of liability on the part of the three senators, Escudero admitted it is difficult to tell, since the panel has yet to obtain the necessary documents from the agencies that were to implement the PDAF-funded projects.

“What we have is the testimony of the officers on the implementing agencies. We still have to see the documents,” Escudero said, referring to the endorsement letters and liquidation reports that the senators reportedly signed.

The committee however was able to find fault on the part of the implementing agencies, particularly their failure to comply with the COA and the Government
Procurement Policy Board’s (GPPB) regulations on getting the services of the NGOs.
Escudero said under the Government Procurement Policy Board’s Resolution No. 12-2007, there are only two ways a project can be awarded to an NGO: by public bidding or by negotiated procurement.

Escudero was mystified by the statement of Allan Javellana, former Nabcor president, that the mere endorsement by a legislator was enough for them to award a contract to a NGO.

Salvador Salacup, current Department of Agriculture assistant secretary and former ZREC president, also admitted that “the only set of validation requirements were the SEC, BIR, LGU permits for project experience and certified financial statements.”

“Now in clear violation of existing laws and regulations, these line agencies simply awarded funding to the seemingly favored NGOs. As long as there are endorsements from legislators, as they admitted, they funneled funds hook, line and sinker,” Escudero said.

Only Enrile has said he is willing to answer questions from his colleagues at a Blue Ribbon hearing.

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10 Comments

  1. Usually angmga senador ay magsasabi sa hearing na kung wala kang kasalanan bakit ka natatakot pumunta sa hearing tulad sa blue ribbon committee. ngayn sila na ang nasa sentro ng issue dapat mag attend sila kung wala sila kasalanan at walang tinatago. ang hirp sa kanila magaling sila lumusot. eto na yung law maker pero law breaker.

  2. Now the three Kings is a thieves posing like a Three Muskeeters but the reality, there are Scambugs, Honorable or Dishonorable that’s not question anymore. But one by one these men who voted to impeached CJ Corona are on the same pages already. The Karma is boomerang to this really Self righteous opting to remain silenced as an admission of guilt left and rigth accusation leading to these 3 kings. They should be put to jail so that next politician will not be tolerated to make the same mistake and stop the burden and bleeding of Corruption of these nation. Let’s make EDSA 86 alive to convict the real criminal of the State.

  3. The DOJ should play dirty tricks against these untouchable smart crooks like Enrile, Jinggoy, Binay, etc. including FVR and GMA by filing charges on them for tax evasion then slap them with hefty fines to millions of pesos and confiscate some of their questionable assets. They may not end up in jail because of their connections and power but DOJ being the authority of the land can ask them to pay these fines or face jail time. add all of these to thousands of crooks in the country and the government can raise billions of peso from this fines.

  4. …’But ultimately, it is up for the three—Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr., and Jinggoy Estrada—to decide if they will go before the committee and answer the allegations.’ Are you kidding me???? How much more slowly will Guingona walk this through? Is he worried he’s gonna hurt these three thieves’ feelings? HOW ABOUT THE OTHER 82 CONGRESSMEN? The Senate panel, the President and DOJ must stick it to anyone involved in this scam. To do less, will onlyexacerbate cyniism among us, and worse of all, thievery will always be a perpetuation of our culture. The president, DOJ and the Senate Panel MUST do their jobs to uphold the law and constitution.

  5. Whyyyy??? Are they foreingners? They are living in this country, then, they are subject to our existing laws regardless of their current function in the government. NO one is above the LAW!! You must be fair..get them even arrested if necessary. Remember, they can easily get out of this country, ‘they are card holders’..

  6. Why thus the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Commission On Audit (COA) only single out names of these Senators, what does it mean? Based on the statement made previously by some politicians the utilization of PDAF is under the discretion of the President whether or not to grant their request. Now they are only pointing their fingers to the same personalities, how about the other Senators and Congressman. DBM and DA are under the President. DBM was authorized to disbursed funds from the coffin of the government and channeled it to the DA for implementation. These two agencies also involved in the anomalies.

  7. Is anybody surprise with the denials of these three allegedly implicated legislators on the PDAF scam? this is a no brainer strategy, they already planned this ahead, to deny, deny, deny, and blame somebody else forged their signatures. I am sure that the government has already figured this out. Need eye witnesses, freeze their bank account while the investigation is ongoing. The government must also be fair that if anybody accused of the same in their party, should also be investigated. This will take a long process to get to the bottom of this, by the time you are almost there, the Filipinos already have lost interest, and the alleged criminals are scot free. Some times I wonder, whether the country needs other type of governance, if only to prevent the country from sliding into oblivion due to corruption, which has already embedded in its culture?. Corruption is just the tip of the ice burg among other criminal activities going on, these are signs and symptoms of a deeper crises from with in us all. If we can not change our mindset, heart set to look into a better understanding of how we can implement the culture of honesty, humility, and compassion for our suffering brothers and sisters, then we are lost in the wilderness. We have to come back to God, we have to pray for spiritual guidance to get us through these. May God bless us all.

  8. It’s puzzling why all the crooks involved in the pork scam have one – and only one – alibi, that their signatures were forged!!! Can’t they at least be more imaginative? Strange, they had the imagination to steal billions of people’s money in broad daylight, yet do not have the imagination to come up with good alibis when finally caught. They must be wetting their pants now.