Mayors deny receiving projects funded by senator’s PDAF
Mayors of municipalities that have been listed as beneficiaries of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel have denied receiving any funding for projects that supposedly aimed to help farmers.
Testifying at the Sandiganbayan on Friday, the local officials said they did not know that their municipalities were in the list of “recipients” of livelihood projects funded by Enrile’s pork barrel.
Mayors Eldred Tumbokon of Umingan, Pangasinan and Bartolome Ramos of Sta. Maria, Bulacan; former mayor Ricardo Revita of Rosales, Pangasinan and Municipal Agriculturists Francisco Collado Jr. of Umingan, Pangasinan; Rodolfo Mendoza of San Miguel, Bulacan and Imelda Eugenio of Sta. Maria Bulacan told the anti-graft court that their municipalities did not receive any livelihood package from any government agency.
The Sandiganbayan’s Third Division is hearing the bail petition filed by Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains of the pork barrel scam.
Napoles, a businesswoman, is Enrile’s co-accused in a P172-million plunder case in connection with the PDAF or pork barrel scam.
In their sworn statements, the local officials said they were not aware that their municipalities were listed as among the recipients of livelihood projects funded by Enrile’s PDAF.
They maintained that they did not receive any “agricultural package, livelihood kit, livelihood training or anything” from Enrile or from the National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), Technology Resource Center (TRC) or National Livelihood and Development Corporation (NLDC) or from six non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that allegedly implemented the projects. The NGOs —Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development Foundation (Cared), Masaganang Ani para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc (MAMFI), Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation Inc (SDPFFI), People Organization for Progress and Development Foundation (POPDFI), Agri and Economic Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (AEPFFI), Agricultura Para sa Magbubukid Foundation, Inc. (APMFI) —were controlled by Napoles.
Enrile is accused of amassing P172 million in kickbacks from various projects funded by his pork barrel.The 90-year-old senator is under hospital arrest.