Plunder, ouster vs Aquino over Malampaya fund

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Militant farmer group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) accused President Benigno Aquino 3r d for allegedly approving the disbursement of P125-million Malampaya Funds which ended in the hands of dubious non-government organizations.

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For purposes of impeachment, the group asked the Office of the Ombudsman to determine offense that would warrant impeachment proceedings against the president.

Led by Rafael Mariano, the farmer’s group trooped to the anti-graft agency to file their 16-page plunder complaint against Aquino and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad as respondents.

Also towed in the accused’ roll are Janet Lim-Napoles and whistleblower Benhur Luy, who were both accused of receiving the funds by cornering energy-related Malampya Fund to buy earthworms and other agricultural produce.

The militants accused Aquino for approving the release of the Malampaya Fund which, under the law, is only appropriated for energy-related initiatives.

Under Presidential Decree (PD) 910 of 1976 is the framework which the country must observe “to finance energy resource development and exploitation programs and projects of the government” from oil and gas revenues.

However, the group alleged that in 2011, the chief executive through Abad “approved the release of Malampaya Funds in billions of pesos for projects or purposes not related to energy exploration, development or exploitation.”

The group underscored that most of the projects are “ghost projects,” supposedly carried out in the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Batangas and Quezon.

“All of these projects were funded from the Malampaya Funds [but]they are not related in any way with the exploitation, development, and utilization of energy resources in violation of PD 910,” the KMP said.

The charge read that “those projects were never implemented,” resulting in the wastage of public funds that the NGOs purportedly pillaged.

The militant group said that appropriating multi-million cash for red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms “is not only preposterous but revolting.”

“Obviously, Aquino and his political lieutenants colluded with fake NGOs to deliberately plunder the Malampaya Funds,” the group added.

The farmer faction decried that the defendants only used the “predicament of the hapless farmers” to justify the release of the Malampaya Fund beyond its legally dictated use.

Also dragged in the complaint are Delos Reyes, together with undersecretaries Narciso Nieto and Jerry Pacturan, for it was under delos Reyes’ leadership that the pilfering of “hundred millions of pesos, happened.”

Meanwhile, Abad and undersecretary Mario Relampagos are also indicted for they approval to release the funds to DAR.

“The DBM and the DAR, in one way or another, facilitated, abetted and even consciously misinterpreted the law, rules and regulations to ensure the successful pillage of public funds,” the complaint read.

Napoles and Luy are implicated for their complicity in cornering the funds by using fake NGOs and memorandum of agreement, which purportedly bind the state and the NGOs for dubious agricultural programs.

The militant partylist specifically urged the Ombudsman to conduct an investigation for purposes of filing an impeachment complaint against Aquino.

They reminded the Ombudsman that under the Constitution, it has the power to investigate incumbent impeachable leaders, including the president, to determine offenses worthy for impeachment proceedings. JOHN CONSTANTINE G. CORDON

 

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