- Posted August 29, 2013 by
2 more Phl senators linked to P10-B fund scam
Grilled by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, COA Chairperson Maria Grace Pulido-Tan, however, refused to divulge the names of the senators until the full audit report is released.
Tan said the two lawmakers are in addition to seven senators earlier mentioned in the COA report covering 2007-2009.
The seven senators include Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr., Gringo Honasan, Ralph Recto, Edgardo Angara, and Manuel 'Lito' Lapid.
The two senators, she said, were named in a recent alleged anomalous Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) release to the Philippine Forest Corporation covering the years 2011-2012.
Tan told the committee that four of the seven senators implicated in the abuse and misuse of public funds covering the years 2007-2009 directed implementing agencies to choose specific nongovernment organizations (NGOs) to build their projects.
She stressed that Enrile, Honasan, Estrada and Revilla handpicked the NGOs that will receive the money, and the implementing government agency merely followed their orders.
The NGOs chosen by Enrile, Honasan, Estrada and Revilla have been linked to Janet Lim Napoles, while the PDAF of Lapid, Angara, and Recto went to NGOs not linked to Napoles.
Tan said there is no law allowing PDAF to be transferred to NGOs. She said this is a clear violation of the Government Procurement Act.
The COA chief said the only way it could be transferred is through a law passed by the legislative or an ordinance allowing such.
The COA stood firm in its findings that almost P2 billion in PDAF was given to at least eight NGOs linked to Janet Lim-Napoles, majority of the funds coming from the Senate.
This is just part of the some P6 billion funds of senators and congressmen that were distributed to 82 NGOs nationwide.
COA testified that they are seeing a pattern of conspiracy between and among government, lawmakers, and private individuals in misusing the PDAF, as the same names of suppliers, NGOs, senators and government implementing agencies appear in the transactions.
Out of the seven senators mentioned, only Recto attended the hearing. Senator Jinggoy Estrada was present at the start of the hearing but stepped out in order to ensure Tan could speak freely.