Was it a special audit hijacked to be a demolition job?

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table for column 1

The biggest flaw of the Commission on Audit’s special report on the use of Congress pork-barrel funds is the fact that it had to rely almost entirely on documents under the control of the Budget department headed by President Aquino’s ideologue and strategist Florencio Abad.

As the COA report itself complained: “The DBM could not provide the Team, despite repeated requests, with complete schedule of releases per legislator from PDAF for soft projects…” (page 5).  This means that not all senators and legislators were actually audited, since the DBM did not provide data for everyone.

While the COA did not specify which senators’ pork-barrel use the DBM provided documents on, this can be extracted from the report’s Table 4, entitled “Releases from PDAF. . . from CYs 2007 to 2009 Per Legislator as Provided by the DBM and Gathered by the Team” (emphasis mine).

That is, the DBM provided documents on the pork barrel releases, only for the members of Congress who are listed in the table and only for the amounts indicated.  These documents included such details as the implementing agencies and the NGOs to which the pork barrel funds were directed.


The COA of course did its own research by investigating for instance whether the NGOs referred to in these documents as having received pork barrel funds were genuine or ghost entities.

Only two senators are known, and have publicly declared, that they had never touched their pork barrel allocations:

Senators Joker Arroyo and Panfilo Lacson.  Unless other senators claim that they also have not asked for any pork barrel, we have to assume that the rest received their full allocation of P200 million annually, totaling P600 million for the years 2007, 2008 and to 2009, covered by the audit.

The table accompanying this column lists the amount of pork barrel funds the COA audited per senator, and the percentages these represent for each senator’s P600 million total PDAF allocations. The percentages in effect represent how much each senator’s pork barrel funds were audited.

Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla, and Edgardo Angara were the most audited senators.

There was in effect a 100 percent audit of Enrile’s use of his pork barrel funds.  If their use of the funds were audited in detail, it’s no wonder at all that the COA report found so many anomalies in their use.

The pork barrel of the senators allied to Mr. Aquino—Kiko Pangilinan, the Cayetano siblings, Ralph Recto, Loren Legarda, Antonio Trillianes— were hardly audited, with the amounts checked representing less than 10 percent of their allocations. This was obviously because the DBM refused to provide the COA with the documents on their pork barrel use.

No wonder the COA report didn’t have any findings whether these senators properly or improperly used their pork barrel.

Surprisingly or not, the COA —based on its table 4—appear to have been unable to get any documents on the pork barrel use of then Senator Aquino and Senator Mar Roxas.

Equally surprising, the COA report had no data at all on the pork barrel use of Francis Escudero and Jamby Madrigal, with not a single reference to them, as if they were not senators from 2007 to 2009, the coverage of the audit.

The DBM however provided the COA with documents on the PDAF releases to Ramon Magsaysay, Jr., Loi Estrada, and Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., who served as senators only up to the first half of 2007. The COA however even audited the use of pork barrel by former Senator Juan Flavier, who finished his term in 2001. Was the DBM deliberately making fun of the COA investigation?

The COA special audit probably was designed as an honest-to-goodness project to fight corruption. However, the COA forgot a crucial detail: that the audit would rely to a crucial extent on the DBM secretary, that he would be nonpartisan and release all documents the COA needed.

He didn’t.  The COA forgot that Secretary Abad, the Liberal Party’s prime political strategist,  is probably the most partisan Budget secretary ever.

The documents involving the use of pork barrel funds by administration senators most probably have been shredded by now.

The only person so far who can point out that the administration senators are as equally guilty as those in the opposition in the use of their pork-barrel funds is, to use Mar Roxas’ reference to her,   “Ma’m Janet” Lim Napoles.

She is jailed at the PNP’s Special Action Force camp, very conveniently for administration operators to rehearse the accusations she will heap on the opposition. The Makati City jail was just too crowded and Vice President Jejomar Binay undoubtedly has people there who could squeal to him that administration operators were rehearsing Napoles to fabricate her testimony.

(And the charge that put her in jail?  “Illegal detention” of accuser Benhur Luy last April in Napoles’ posh unit at Twin Towers condominium along Ayala Avenue, which the Justice department dismissed in May, after “Ma’m Janet’s” lawyers presented CCTV video of the ‘kidnapped’ going in and out of the building by himself and with even priests testifying that he was then enrolled in a religious retreat. Any charge of all, since she had at all costs—the P10 million reward Aquino offered for her capture was peanuts—to be put under the administration’s custody.)

The inescapable conclusion is that COA audit started off as a legitimate investigation.  It was hijacked though to become a demolition job against opposition senators, and the opposition in general, for the 2016 elections.  Poor Angara – he was sacrificed to make the demolition job credible, since after all he was on his last term.

The hijacking has the hallmark of a tuwid-na-daan operation by a self-righteous cabal purportedly to rid the country of corruption, which however is selective, targeting only its enemies and demolishing them by any means necessary, in order to hold on to power.

The strategy is brilliant: How can Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla salvage their reputation by claiming that their colleagues are also guilty, but just weren’t investigated?

But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, as a poet put it long ago.

It may have pinned down the opposition senators,  but Aquino now faces a firestorm of disgust and outrage, with the public believing more and more that his administration has a bigger—P25 billion annually under his watch as against P8 billion before him —and more corrupt pork-barrel system than during the years covered by the COA audit.

tiglao.manilatimes.net
www.rigobertotiglao.com and www.trigger.ph

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29 Comments

  1. Michael B. Cuanzon on

    Demolition? Sure it is. A demolition done by your own colleagues. Isn’t it true that,
    when you do something wrong…you should not blame anyone, the act was yours…
    good or bad it is yours….Why blame people who came out with the truth. It is nice to be free with the truth.

  2. I would like to see the real score on the PDAF of Aquino, Roxas, Escudero and Madrigal. Where are the data? Why is there no COA audit? I understand that Lacson and Joker Arroyo never got their PDAF. But I remember that Madrigal also claimed she never got hers. Was Madrigal’s claim true?

    It’s time for an honest-to-goodness COA report to shed light on these issues. It’s time for us to see some glimpses of truth, if not the whole truth itself, so that we can stop those dishonest or corrupt ones from entering the senate hall once again.

  3. I have my serious doubts; my reservations about this ongoing senate probe on Napoles’s scam stunt, sir Bobi –with sincere deference to a relatively unsullied reputation, un-Napoles-like.

    My thesis is that since all senators’ handling of their respective PDAFs is in question here, the unnamed, or not outrightly accused senators in the ongoing senate probe do not have the moral high ground to probe their accused peers. Many of our countrymen actually believe that all of these senators—as are all congressmen—are equally guilty of skimming off the bulk of their pdafs, and. hence, no solon can claim to be lily-white in the judicious and ethical dispensation of his/her own pork barrel.

    What to do? It behooves these holier-than-thou senators to back off from their ongoing probe, and let, instead, an internationally respected probe body do a thoroughgoing probe, so that the results will be fair, honest and unquestionable. In fact, even PNoy must be included in this probe, as he was a congressman and senator earlier, and in face of news reports that Napoles was one of his biggest campaign donors during the 2010 elections. Fair is fair.

    if the probing senators—like the hustler alan peter cayetano—would still insist on their self-appointed role as probers, it will only result in a grand moro-moro, an inquisition, a kangaroo court.

    the filipino people must not be a party to this grand political swindle that promises to equal napoles’s and other syndicate’s financial scams. must we, the people, always be a victim of countless rip-offs?

  4. It is a well planned demolition job of PNoy’s tuwid na daan administration….an early preparation for the 2016 elections, Sir robert thanks for the idea you shared for i was wondering why is it that they are only pinning down the minority they are focusing to “mam janet” pb scam for i believe that it is not only janet who knows how to build a bogus ngo…… how can we be sure that justice will be served were in fact the majority has never been touched……

  5. Tuwid na daan is just a slogan. Politics of patronage, spoil system are still thriving in the bureaucracy that Pinoys crusade to change the top level government executives by terminating Non CESO thru Executive Order No.1is but a ploy to rid the government of the allies of former administration. The of corruption and extortion of Vitangcol at the MRT is a clear example of how corrupt his appointees are in the government.

  6. Dencio Pascual on

    Please Mr. Tiglao let us not put so much political spin on this PDAF Investigation. Whether the whole process may favor some in the political circle of Pnoy in sum total it is still a worthy undertaking that will finally put a stop on the abuse on the use of PDAF. You yourself is very much aware of how political maneuvers are done at the highest level since you were with GMA in Malacanang. It may spare some politicians now but once the dominos start crumbling no one will be spared. It takes courage and will to authorize this investigation on the part of Pnoy knowing that some of his allies may be dragged into the fray. It could be political suicide. GMA would not have sanctioned a decision like this.

    Instead of being overly critical let us provide help to the investigating team. You yourself have first hand knowledge on how PDAF is being manipulated. Why don’t you share your ideas and reveal what you know once and for all.

  7. Tanga lang ang maniniwala na hindi itong isang demolition job!!! Pero ang hindi alam ng administration ni Pnoy ay hindi na tanga ang mga Filipino!!!

  8. Let it be known that COA is always given a copy of all Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) issued by DBM. So PLEASE do not tell us you have to get documents from DBM to conduct your audit. Tamad lang ang mga auditors na maghalungkat ng mga files na binibigay sa kanila. Sige mga taga COA, mag deny kayo na wala kayong copy ng SARO at ng malaman ng taong bayan kung gaano kayo ka-efficient and effective.

  9. Demolition job or not, it’s a start. Like the joke said about 100 lawyers drowning in the sea, ” IT’S A GOOD START.”

  10. enrique pacardo on

    Bobby, try to interview Lolit Solis. She has more information to share regarding the pork barrel scandal.

  11. You various comments on the ills of this administration are timely and patriotic,however
    ,its very sad to see the YELLOW MEDIA ,with their daily cover up and character ASSASINATION is so huge that it shadows your opinions,and in fact this kind of media
    Dessimination of Yellow Media ,brainwash most the low class FILIPINO, what they see and hear on TV and radio is the gospel truth,that’s the true objective of this administration, our country will never raises ,its very sad, I pity our country.the Napoles case is just a big show to cover up the various anomalies of this administration.

  12. the whole government is rotten to its core and the only way to salvage our nation is to clean up everything and start from square one.

    how do we do that? we need to dismiss everybody starting from the president and his cabinet and the whole congress, set up a new constitution, change the form of government if necessary, and call for fresh elections.

    we need somebody or a group of people not contaminated by this pork barrell system to implement the above. but who could these people be? your guess as a good as mine.

    • …in fairness to Napoles, she is just an instrument to corrupt practices but the real culprit is our system of government.

  13. your conclusion provide the boomerang to the present leadership since Napoles was still in “business or operating” between 2010-2012 and to use former senator arroyo’s line “use logic for the uninformed”…in logic, the PDAF would have tripled during 2010-2012 compared to 2007-2009….unless, Napoles had stopped operating…I really look forward to the COA autidt for 2010-2012 be undertaken and released….but as i is the information is controlled by DBM….it is unlikely to finish…hmm…is there an audit being made for the CCT of DWSD?…yikes!

  14. Demolition Job…….What is happening in our country today are all preparation for 2016 election. Liberal party is now changing its principle started by Pepe Diokno

  15. gary m. juatco on

    kaya naman special ang treatment kay napoles ng mga taga malacanang. takot sila sa sasabihin ni napoles na pwedeng malink ang mga taga administration

  16. Felix Servidad on

    Ay naku! pag ayaw ng DBM ipakita ang mga dokumentong hinihingi ng coa tiyak na me tinatago sila na ayaw malaman ng taong bayan na boss kuno ni Pnoy sa tawag.
    Kung sinira na nila o winala lalong maniniwala ang taong bayan na me anomalya silang
    tinatago, anuman ang sabihin nilang palusot ay di na maniniwala ang taong bayan.
    Magigising na lang si Pnoy na nasa ibaba na siya parang bangungot.
    Kung ang iimbistigahan nila ay pawang oposisyon lamang ang sasabihin ng taong bayan bakit! Mga Santo ba ang mga ka alyado ni Pnoy.
    Para sa mga taga payo ni Pnoy wag nyo namang isipin na ang taong ay parang mga bata na madaling paniwalain.
    Ang dapat ninyong gawin ay mahawakan ninyo ang mga sumusunod:
    Ang NBI, mga Hukom, Doj, sandiganbayan atbp na may kinalaman sa pag iimbistiga
    Higit sa lahat ay mahawakan ninyo ang militar para walang kudeta.
    Sa ganyang paraan magagawa nyo na ang gusto nyo.
    Pipols power na lang ang kalaban nyo pag nagka ganon lagot kayo kaya mas mabuti pa
    Tuparin mo na Lang yong pangako mo sa sinasabi mong boss mo na daang matuwid,sa ganyang paraan ang magiging kalaban mo ay ang masama kakampi mo naman ang mabuti na sya laging nagwawagi.

  17. Mr. Tiglao, the collusion between PNoy, the DBM, the COA, Offices of Mar Rojas and related government agencies is a given. Still, I am of the opinion that if the neutral Press, good governance associations and plain folks like me will continue to pressure COA, more information will come out but expected to be as slow as a turtle walk. Let us just wait a little bit for positive action.

    • Indeed! This is a demolition job. Transparency should be for all of the senators and congressmen. Audit should also be done for 2010 to 2012. The administration shouldn’t fear since they are very righteous & tread their ‘Daang matuwid’ mantra religiously, therefore, all expenditures were lawful & above board. Otherwise, the cloud of doubt remains that something isn’t right & they’re guilty of cover-up.