MILITANT peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) on Friday accused President Benigno Aquino 3rd, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes for plundering not only the Malampaya funds but the ill-gotten wealth recovered from the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The KMP issued the statement after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department and Budget and Management (DBM) denied their involvement in the Malampaya fund misuse saying the funds were released and used in 2009 or during the administration of former president and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga province.
The peasant group on Tuesday filed its second plunder complaint against President Aquino, Abad, Delos Reyes, Janet Lim Napoles, and ten others on the alleged misuse of the P125 million Malampaya funds.
Rafael Mariano, the group’s chairman, said that “pieces of evidence point to Fund 158 as source of payments by the Agrarian Reform department to fake nongovernment organizations in February and March 2011 or under the Aquino administration.”
KMP cited one evidence showing (1) DAR check amounting to P10 million, (2) DAR obligation request stamped with Fund 158 – Paid, (3) DAR Disbursement Voucher stamped with Fund 158, and (4) DAR Certificate of Availability of Funds stamped with Fund 158 – all documents dated February 24, 2011 issued to Workphil Foundation, Inc. as payee amounting to P10 million, and an official receipt issued by Workphil Foundation, Inc. to the DAR having the same amount of P10 million dated February 25, 2011.
The Fund 158, the group said, was created by Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) Council Resolution No. 88-4-2, signed by PARC chairperson and then President Corazon Aquino on January 22, 1988, the first year of Mendiola Massacre.
Mariano noted that the PARC Resolution directed the Bureau of Treasury to consolidate the receipts of sale of recovered ill-gotten wealth to Fund 158 states that “there is a need to consolidate all monies recovered from the sale by Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) of ill-gotten wealth into Fund 158 of the Bureau of the Treasury intended for use of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), for better monitoring and control.”
The peasant leader cited that “even the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) last October 3, 2013 against former President Arroyo, former DAR Secretary Pangandaman, former DBM Secretary Rolando Andaya, Napoles, and 20 others, clearly demonstrates that the Malampaya funds were mixed up with the Marcos ill-gotten wealth.”
In its 20-page complaint, the National Bureau of Investigation said that “Investigation reveals that SAGF 158 of the DAR had available funds prior to the release of the P900 million from the Malampaya funds. The same fund under DAR LBP Trust Fund 158 with Account No. 00020-70900-04 was the source of the fund for the thirty two (32) checks issued on November 26, 2009 and December 3, 2009. The total amount of the checks issued on said dates is three hundred million pesos (P300,000,000). It must be noted that the NCA was issued only on December 21, 2009, or almost a month after the first batch of checks was issued to the NGOs controlled by Napoles. This means that DAR actually advanced Ph300 Million to the Napoles NGOs using funds coming from DAR LBP Trust Fund 158 before the release of the NCA for the DAR Malampaya Fund projects on December 21, 2009.”
“This clearly shows that the Malampaya funds were mingled with Fund 158, a fund created for the Marcos ill-gotten wealth. At the time the Aquino government’s DAR released the funds to fake nongovernment organizations in February and March 2011, Fund 158 was composed of both the Marcos ill-gotten wealth and the Malampaya funds,” Mariano said.
The peasant leader, however, said that “regardless of whether the money came from the Malampaya funds or not, the fact remains that the P125 million was plundered from Fund 158, the account created for the Marcos ill-gotten wealth, by the Aquino-Abad-Delos Reyes Triad.”
“The Filipino people did not topple the Marcos dictatorship only for Aquino and Abad to plunder the ill-gotten wealth intended for the victims of martial law,” Mariano stressed.
The KMP also lashed out at Abad for saying that the plunder case filed by the peasant group was a product of “hyperactive imagination.”
“As a former DAR secretary, Abad is too familiar of the DAR’s accounts. The plunder of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth and the Malampaya funds is a product of Abad’s criminal mind,” he said.
“Abad cannot simply get away with plunder. He will pay dearly for rubbing salt to the wounds of martial law victims,” the peasant group warned.
The peasant group said they now preparing to file a supplemental complaint to include the plunder of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth by Aquino, Abad, and Delos Reyes.
A Commission on Audit Observation Memorandum dated March 25, 2013 stated that: “In February and March 2011, the DAR entered into a memorandum of agreement with WorkPhil Foundation, Samahang Magsasaka sa Kapatagan Foundation, Inc. as implementers of various projects and with the 17 municipal mayors as project beneficiaries with a total of P170,000,000.” NEIL A. ALCOBER