COA findings strengthen calls to
Posted on 17 August 2013 by BAYAN
News Release August 17, 2013 T
The Commission on Audit findings that some P6.2 billion in Priority
Development Assistance funds may have been lost to corruption from
2007-2009 strengthens the calls to abolish the pork barrel system,
according to the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).
“There can be no ifs and buts. The pork barrel system has to go. Billions
of pesos are apparently being channelled to ghost projects, questionable
NGOs and unscrupulous politicians. The Napoles NGO’s appear to be just
among the 82 NGO’s that have questionable practices and links to
politicians. The system is so corrupt that there can be no other way to
address the issue but to abolish pork altogether,” said Bayan secretary
general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“It is time to end the ‘public-private partnership’ of lawmakers, spurious
NGO’s and corrupt government agencies who are responsible for plundering
the nation’s coffers,” he added.
Bayan said that it is very likely that the questionable practices from
2007 to 2009 may have continued up to the present administration. The
group said that it was necessary to review the PDAF disbursements during
the Aquino administration. It said that what is posted on the Department
of Budget and Management website are just projects supposedly undertaken
using the PDAF of lawmakers but no stringent audit appears to have been
The DBM website on PDAF projects show that even under the Aquino
administration, hundreds of millions of pesos were allotted to projects
such as livelihood trainings and seminars. The group said that even
partylist lawmakers appear to have questionable PDAF use as some projects
have no connection with the sectors or regions that they claim to
While admitting that the scope and depth of corruption in the PDAF was
shocking, Bayan asked why the COA recommendations fell short of calling
for the abolition of the PDAF and the investigation of erring lawmakers.
In its recommendations found on page 139 of its report, COA asked
lawmakers to limit their participation in PDAF project to identification
of eligible projects and implementing agencies, and to ensure that
projects fall within their congressional district or sector. COA also
recommended that some NGO’s and government agencies be probed.
“What is striking in the COA report is that there is no recommendation to
probe the lawmakers who may have been involved in the questionable PDAF
projects. Only some NGO’s and government employees have been recommended
for investigation. COA also does not recommend the abolition of PDAF.
Given what COA itself has revealed as corruption on a massive scale, these
recommendations are certainly not enough,” Reyes said.
“The COA found at least 6 lawmakers tied to certain questionable NGO’s,
yet there was no recommendation to investigate these lawmakers. If despite
the COA report no one is held accountable, then corruption will continue.
That’s impunity,” he added.
Bayan said that pressure should be made to bear on President Benigno
Aquino III and his allies in Congress to hold accountable all those
involved in the scam.
“The whole system – the executive, legislative and judiciary – is on trial
here. A scam of this magnitude demands that officials be made accountable.
Lawmakers, bogus NGO’s and erring officials of implementing agencies
should be thoroughly investigated. Congressional hearings should also be
undertaken. PDAF projects for 2014 should be halted. Aquino cannot act as
if it’s business as usual. His refusal to scrap pork is very telling,”
Reyes said. ### -
See more at:
Joint Press Release
August 4, 2013
References: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares
Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio
Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap
Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate
Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon
MAKABAYAN: PNOY’S PRO-PORK STAND EXPOSES DAANG MATUWID
AS A SHAM
Bloc will not access their own pork barrel allocation
We, the Makabayan Coalition, denounce in the strongest terms the
pronouncement made by President Benigno S. Aquino III that he is in favor
of retaining the pork barrel system.
The President has chosen to make his stand known at a time when evidence
provided by whistleblowers, together with findings of the Commission on
Audit that are only now coming to light, are uncovering a widening network
of corruption centered on the misuse of the Priority Development
Assistance Funds (PDAF), involving scores of legislators, including
members of his own Liberal Party, and even a member of his own Cabinet.
Furthermore, the President has chosen to make his stand known when the
snowballing public outrage has, for the first time, transformed the call
for the abolition of the pork barrel system into a realistic proposition.
No less than the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has taken
a stand against pork. The President’s own allies in the Senate had
expressed public support for the abolition of PDAF. The timing of his
statement is clearly intended to squelch the momentum in favor of the
abolition of the pork barrel system. It now appears that the so-called
“pork barrel scam” is a continuing racket that is not just a legacy of the
previous administration, but persisted for years under the Aquino
President Aquino’s pro-pork barrel stand utterly robs his vaunted
anti-corruption campaign of any credibility. Daang Matuwid will be exposed
as a sham. How can he reconcile Daang Matuwid with the system that has
spawned what could prove to be one of the largest, longest-running
corruption rackets in our history? The President himself has revealed how
far he is willing to go in his anti-corruption drive—not far enough! It
ends when it could threaten to disrupt the system of patronage politics
that enables the President to use PDAF as a carrot-and-stick to control
Congress and subvert separation of powers and checks-and-balances. It ends
when it could lead to the abolition of the pork barrel system which
political dynasties rely upon to ingratiate themselves with voters and
maintain their grip on power.
We call on President Aquino to re-examine his stand, repudiate his support
for pork, and respond immediately to the call of the times by removing the
item on PDAF and the President's own pork barrel in the proposed 2014
budget already submitted by Malacañang to Congress.
We, the Makabayan Coalition, express our determination to fight for the
abolition of the whole pork barrel system and other sources of corruption
in all branches of government.
We will not access our own PDAF allocations as we fight for its abolition.
We will press for the rechanneling of Congress' and the President's pork
barrel to finance the building and operations of more public schools,
public hospitals and low-cost houses for the poor instead of privatizing
and commercializing these services.###
August 15, 2013
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, 09178350459
BAYAN MUNA CHALLENGES MALACANANG TO LET GO OF THE GRAFT
RIDDEN MALAMPAYA FUND
Spend presidential pork on pension for barangay officials
Bayan Muna Representative Neri J. Colmenares today called on Pres. Benigno
Aquino to relinquish his presidential pork in the Malampaya Funds, and
channel the fund to providing pension to barangay officials.
“The Malampaya Fund is a much abused presidential pork barrel because its
disposition merely rests on presidential discretion. If it is not used in
corrupt projects or given as a dole out to presidential allies, it is
misplaced in unnecessary pet projects of the president. It was used in
non-energy related road projects in districts of presidential allies and
nearly P 2 Billion were even spent by the PNP on irregular contracts
during the last administration. Now we find out that Php 900 Million was
again lost on ghost projects. Ginagawang gatasan ang bilyung-bilyung piso
ng Malampaya habang ang taong bayan ay halos hindi na makakain tatlong
beses sa isang araw. Pres. Aquino must let go of this graft ridden
presidential pork.” said Rep. Colmenares.
“It is about time that the Malampaya fund be saved from marauding
politicians and put in an item which could not be reached by the corrupt
and the greedy. This is the reason why we refiled House Bill 180 or the
Barangay Pension Fund Bill last month mandating the use of the Malampaya
fund to fund pension benefits for all barangay officials namely Barangay
Chairman, Kagawads, the Secretary and the Treasurer. The bill provides for
a lump sum pension of about P50,000.00 for every year of service to
barangay officials who retired from government service,” the solon said.
“All barangay officials, unlike their other colleagues in government
retire from service without any pension. While the military is being
allotted by Malacanang billions of pesos each year for their pension,
Congress and Malacanang consistently refused to fund the pension of these
barangay officials even if they perform the same government functions like
all government employees. This discrimination should stop now. It is about
time that an institutionalized pension system for barangay officials using
the Malampaya fund be set up” explained Colmenares.
“The Bill will repeal that portion in PD 910 which grants the President
the power to allocate the Malampaya fund to any project he wants. This
absolute discretion leads to irregularities or discriminatory allocation
of funds to presidential friends and pet projects. This certainly violates
the supposed bottom-up budgeting and the zero based budget principles
being mouthed by Malacanang as the framework of our budget. If Pres.
Aquino is serious about his budgeting principles, then, he should let go
of his presidential pork in the Malampaya fund and give barangay officials
something to look forward to after they retire,” ended Rep. Colmenares.
Bayan Muna: Pork Barrel Inherently
Anomalous, Mere Restrictions Won’t Clean It
Aug 17, 2013
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri J. Colmenares today called the pork barrel inherently
anomalous and challenged Pres. Benigno Aquino III to abolish the pork
barrel system and let go of his presidential pork. Colmenares dismissed
talks of stricter regulations of pork disbursements as useless and nothing
more than insidious attempts to perpetuate and salvage the graft ridden
pork barrel system.
“Pork barrel by nature is a lump sum amount which is used for patronage
politics because, not only the amount but also the selection of the
projects and its beneficiaries rests on the approval of one person. A
presidential pork, like the Malampaya Fund, is inherently anomalous
because (1) it is a source of graft and corruption; (2) it is used to
favor allies by adding to their already bloated pork barrels giving these
lucky officials electoral advantage; and (3) it violates the required
collective and deliberative process of budgeting public funds, diverting
these funds to unnecessary whimsical projects” explained Rep. Colmenares.
“The P 900 million Malampaya funds coursed through the DAR for ghost
beneficiaries recently unearthed in the current pork barrel scandal is an
example of the blatant corruption with which pork barrel is vulnerable to.
The unexplained P2.14 Billion surprisingly given to the PNP in 2009 for
“disaster preparedness” is at the very least highly irregular,” he added.
“Even if no corruption takes place, pork is still inherently anomalous
because it is used in patronage politics. The 138 SARO’s giving P8.6
billion to certain lucky districts through the DPWH is an example of this
anomalous patronage politics,” Rep. Colmenares added.
“There is no explanation why some districts got P 15 million, many got P40
million while some got more than P 200 million. DPWH SARO 09-09492
amounting to P500 million was given to a luckier district. Since there are
more than 138 districts in the country, there were unlucky districts that
were not favored by the presidential pork,” he said.
Rep. Colmenares further explained why pork is inherently anomalous. “The
budget is supposedly a group output because it comes from the submission
of government offices of their needs and deliberated by Congress to decide
how much amount goes to which project of certain agencies. But in the end,
millions or even billions of pork barrel may be arbitrarily spent to
deodorize trash, build waiting sheds or similar whims, thereby negating
the much ballyhooed “zero” or needs based budget of the Aquino
Pork is not an equalizer and anomalies cannot be regulated or restricted
“No amount of strict regulation or restrictions can stop these anomalies
and all these talks about stricter monitoring is just a scheme to
perpetuate this anomalous system. These did not work before, these will
not work now. The pork barrel system must go and it must go now” declared
“Pres. Aquino is certainly not following the wishes of his “boss”, the
Filipino people, when he supported the pork barrel system calling it an
“equalizer”. It is in fact the great “un-equalizer” because it is enjoyed,
not by everyone, but only by favored allies of the pork holder” said Rep.
“But of course, Pres. Aquino cannot let go of the pork barrel system
despite the outrage of the people because he also wants to maintain his
P132 billion Malampaya fund and other presidential pork barrel. Since
there will be no support from Malacanang and Congress, we are asking for
the people’s support for the approval of House Bill 1535 which seeks to
abolish the pork barrel system. We are calling on our countrymen to
organize anti-pork barrel groups and networks to deliver the fatal blow
‘para matigil na ang sistemang ito ng pambababoy sa pondo ng bayan,”
August 8, 2013
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, 09178350459
BAYAN MUNA ASKS MALACANANG: ACCOUNT FOR THE P75 BILLION
PRESIDENTIAL PORK BARREL
Says Pres. Aquino enjoys ‘unli’ pork
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri J. Colmenares today demanded that Malacanang account
for the P75 Billion in 2012 and P27 Billion in 2013 it has withdrawn from
various agencies and realigned to various projects.
“National Budget Circular 541 issued by Malacanang clearly requires that
funds in various government agencies that remain unobligated by June 30,
2012 mus be centralized to the DBM so that it could be realigned to ‘cover
additional funding for other existing projects’. Paragraph 5.7.3 of
Circular 451, however, also allows the “centralized fund” not only to be
used to augment existing programs of any agency but also “fund priority
programs and projects not considered in the 2012 Budget but expected to be
started or implemented during the current year”. This provision could be
constitutionally infirm.” said Rep. Colmenares.
“This could be interpreted to mean that projects or amounts not approved
by Congress will be funded by public funds in violation of the
Constitutional requirement that no public fund shall be disbursed without
appropriation by law. Malacanang should explain what projects were funded
under paragraph 5.7.3 and the amounts realigned thereto because with this
circular the President practically enjoys ‘unli’- pork,” said the
DBM Sec. Butch Abad admitted during the budget hearings that P 75Billion
came from at least eight under spending government agencies in 2012
namely, DOTC, DSWD, DOH, DAR, DENR, DepEd, DA and DPWH. He also argued
that the provision “projects not considered in the 2012 Budget” in NBC
Circular 541 still pertains to existing projects approved by Congress.
Colmenares, however, disagrees. “The language in the circular is clear,
and it says ‘projects not considered in the 2012 Budget’. In any case, the
best way to resolve this is for Malacanang to give Congress documents
showing how much were centralized and which projects they were spent on.
We will wait for Sec. Abad’s promise to provide Congress with a list of
said realignments. ” he said.
“The fact, however, remains that this is an almost unlimited presidential
pork barrel because it has been suddenly transformed into a lump sum
amount and allows the president to choose projects and beneficiaries for
the said fund. And this does not include the billions of pesos in PAGCOR
funds given to the Presidential Social Fund and the Billions more in
Malampaya funds which gives the President the authority, similar to
members of Congress, to spend the funds on projects and beneficiaries he
chooses or favors,” the lawmaker said.
Colmenares also asked Malacanang to explain the discrepancies found in the
budget submitted by the DBCC if only to ensure transparency. “Strangely,
the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) reported higher
amounts of funds actually obligated by agencies in 2012 than that reported
in Malacanang’s National Expenditures Programs (NEP) Table B. Worse, there
are conflicting amounts appropriated for the various agencies in the same
NEP book. It does not augur well for transparency that such billion peso
discrepancies exist in the government budget which could have resulted
from the multitude of realignments made by Malacanang. I am sure COA is
having a hard time tracing these realignments. In the end however, the
real issue is the abolition of pork barrel. Whether it is congressional or
presidential pork barrel it is a source of corruption and it has to be
abolished now,” ###.
04 August 2013
CODE-NGO told: Look who’s talking!
Look who’s talking.
This was national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to the
expression of concern by the Caucus of Development NGOs (CODE-NGO) that
legitimate non-governmental organizations are being dragged into disrepute
by the involvement of fake NGOs in the pork barrel scam.
CODE-NGO pocketed almost P2 billion from transactions pertaining to the
so-called “Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificates” or PEACe
Bonds in 2001, purportedly as a prize from former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
for the group’s support to moves for the ouster of former Pres. Joseph
The transaction highlighted the close connections between CODE-NGO and the
Arroyo government: Dinky Soliman, former CODE-NGO head, was Social Welfare
and Development secretary at the time, and Marissa Camacho, CODE-NGO head
at the time, is the sister of then Finance Secretary Isidro Camacho.
“CODE-NGO’s hypocrisy is hilarous. It’s like the pot calling the kettle
black, and in public. It’s like Arroyo’s accomplices in corruption are
calling Enrile’s accomplices in corruption corrupt,” said Lito Ustarez,
“CODE-NGO and the fake NGOs implicated in the pork barrel scam are both
involved in brazen money-making schemes. CODE-NGO is insulting the
public’s intelligence by making it appear that its money-making scheme is
legitimate,” he added.
KMU also condemned the Aquino government’s inaction over the PEACe Bond
scam, saying CODE-NGO has the nerve to make public posturings as a
legitimate NGO because of the Aquino government’s inaction.
“What ever happened to investigations into this scam? What ever happened
to the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s attempts to tax the money earned by
CODE-NGO more than 10 years ago?” Ustarez asked.
“We cannot help but think, given the Aquino government’s continuing
inaction on this scam, that it is just using anti-corruption statements
aimed at certain groups to make the groups compliant to its wishes,” he
“If there is one thing that the ‘daang matuwid’ rhetoric should be
measured against, it is the punishment of those behind the PEACe Bond
scam. Aquino after all vowed to go after Arroyo for her corruption cases,”
Reference: Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson, 0908-6491992
12 August 2013
Workers want Aquino’s P1 Trillion pork scrapped
National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called for the scrapping of Pres.
Noynoy Aquino’s P1 trillion pork barrel today, saying the fund should be
rechanneled to various social services such as education, health and
KMU branded Aquino as “Pork Barrel King” for increasing allocations to
pork barrel funds since he became president and for allocating a huge
section of the P2.6 trillion national budget to his discretionary funds.
The labor center said Aquino will surely use the fund to enrich his
“Kamag-anak, Kaibigan at Kaalyado” and to force legislators and other
politicians to approve and implement his anti-poor policies.
“It is revolting to see Aquino alloting to his discretionary fund a huge
section of the national budget while social services are becoming more
scarce, expensive and low-quality. Aquino prioritizes his and his KKK’s
interests, not those of the Filipino people,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU
“We condemn the pork barrel king even as we condemn those who have
pocketed the people’s money through pork barrel funds. The pork barrel
scams show that the people’s money should not be left to the complete
discretion of politicians including Aquino,” he said.
“Aquino’s P1 trillion pork barrel explains why he is defending the pork
barrel system despite the corruption endemic to it, the recent scandals
stemming from it, and his anti-corruption rhetoric. Aquino is noisiest in
proclaiming his opposition to corruption but is the biggest defender and
benefactor of a huge corruption racket,” he added.
Former National Treasurer Leonor Briones exposed that in the proposed
national budget, Aquino has put around P1 trillion in lump sum items under
his discretion, including P229 billion in special purpose funds, P139
billion in unprogrammed funds and P200 billion allegedly for school
Data from the Department of Budget and Management reveal that funds
alloted to the Priority Development Assistance Fund have doubled when
Aquino became president and has increased since then.
“Despite his rhetoric of change and ‘daang matuwid,’ Aquino is no
different from previous presidents who got the biggest chunk of
corruption. The dominant faction of the ruling class always gets the
biggest share of pork barrel funds,” Labog said.
“We vow to press for the rechanneling of Aquino’s pork barrel to social
services. It is unacceptable that state colleges are raising fees, public
hospitals are being privatized, and the the poor is being asked to pay
dearly for so-called housing services when the president has P1 trillion
in pork barrel,” he added.
Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597
16 August 2013
Marc Lino Abila
National Secretary General
College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Campus journalists, youth groups stage ‘whistle-blowing’
protest against corruption and pork barrel
Several campus journalists and youth groups from colleges and universities
in Manila ‘blew whistles’ in Taft Ave., Manila as protest against
corruption and to abolish the pork barrel system that they deem as the
source of corruption in the government.
“With Janet Lim-Napoles on the loose, we cannot deny that corruption is
still happening under the Aquino regime,” said Marc Lino Abila, National
Secretary General of the College Editors of the Philippines, the oldest
and broadest alliance of tertiary student publications.
“Even worse, in the proposed 2014 national budget, the Department of
Budget and Management (DBM) allocated P25.24 billion for the Priority
Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and P139.9 billion for unprogrammed
funds o the ‘Presidential pork barrel’ directly under the control of
Malacañang,” Abila explained.
“The government keeps on allocating large amounts to PDAF and unprogrammed
funds but continue to cut the budgets of state universities and colleges
and other social services, abandoning its responsibility to the Filipino
people,” Abila continued.
“As one of the main convenors of the Youth Act Now alliance, CEGP strongly
demands for accountability of legislators and bogus NGOs that used
taxpayers’ money for personal and political gain and to abolish the pork
barrel system which has been proven to be a source of corruption,” Abila
“On behalf of the Youth Act Now alliance, we are calling all students and
youth to stand up against corruption, to abolish the pork barrel system,
and put into law those legislators and NGOs who are accountable,” ended
College Editors Guild of the Philippines National Office
Media Hotline: 0948-416-4295
College Editors Guild of the Philippines
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