Massive anomalies at the Department of Agriculture (DA) have been unearthed anew, thanks to the Commission on Audit (COA).
Reports of ghost projects and complaints about abandoned projects arise like zombies haunting Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.
And now that COA has done its job on this particular case, perhaps it is the Senate’s turn to conduct an inquiry “in aid of legislation” and to make the necessary recommendation for the prosecution of Alcala and his cohort at the DA.
That is if neither the Office of the Ombudsman nor the Department of Justice (DOJ) lifts a finger to fulfill its mandated duty of going after the crooks.
Note that this vengeful administration of Noynoy Aquino is notorious for its selective taste in its bogus anti-graft and corruption drive it calls Matuwid na Daan, targeting only political enemies and ignoring allies and close friends who are as guilty as or even more guilty than the administration’s enemies.
Now that the primetime series on the Makati City parking annex “overpricing” probe has sagged in ratings, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee perhaps may wish to present a true-to-life summer special on Alcala’s “farm-to-market road and irrigation projects.”
I will not count on the House of Representatives to address this issue because there are not a few congressmen who may be implicated in this DA mess, involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Apparently, they cashed in before “abolishing” the PDAF and DAP which were declared unlawful by the Supreme Court.
According to COA, at least P7.8 billion were allocated for 1,070 kilometers FMR projects in 2013 but DA only completed 270 kilometers of FMR worth P1.7 billion.
Apparently, just about a quarter of the total length of the budgeted construction of FMR were actually finished, may be with substandard materials.
Of course, officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), congressmen and local government units (LGU) all dip in contractors’ pocket.
Lahat nakisawsaw. Everybody happy, except for the hapless farmers.
And if there will be a Senate probe, a certain “Phil Navidad” and one “Boyet” should be considered persons of interest.
According to well-placed sources, Navidad is a contractor who frequents Alcala’s office and cornered numerous farm-to-market road (FMR) projects these past years.
His contracts are among the non-existing and unfinished FMR projects on which Alcala’s office and DA’s attached agencies squandered P14.4 billion in public funds, according to my sources.
“Boyet” is said to be Alcala’s bagman and contact person in transactions with contractors and other firms.
And among the alleged favored firms are Vigus Construction, Squarecube Construction, and Pearl Construction, which are reportedly all owned by a contractor from Davao who has been awarded up to a billion pesos worth of irrigation projects brokered by Boyet when the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) was still under Alcala.
NIA is now under the supervision of Kiko Pangilinan, Presidential Assistant for food security and agricultural modernization.
We are still verifying if Pangilinan himself has conducted onsite inspection of the projects won by this Davao contractor to check if irrigation works were completed. Reports have it that many of them are unfinished to this day.
Both Navidad and this Davao contractor should be summoned to the Senate to explain these alleged ghost projects and abandoned works, whether it’s theirs or not.
But then again, I don’t expect Noynoy’s administration to lift a finger to hold Alcala and his alipores responsible for this P14 billion plunder of farm-to-market road funds that were “irrigated” into their own pockets. Sonofab#%¥!£!!!