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    Posted March 28, 2014 by

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    Expand scam probe, urges Phl senator

    WHILE the “historic signing” of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) remains the talk of the town, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago on Friday filed a resolution for the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to expand its current pork barrel probe into the culpability of the implementing agencies listed in the 2013 and prior budgets.
    Santiago said that the heads of certain implementing agencies such as the Technology Research Center (TRC), National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR), and Muslim Youth Foundation are "equally guilty" with the lawmakers in committing the crime of plunder or malversation of pork barrel funds."
    "The implementing agencies should never have allowed the corrupt politicians to exert pressure in favor of certain NGOs, who are supposed to have their own funds from nongovernmental sources," the lady senator said.
    Santiago said NGOs should source their funds, not from the pork barrel, but from international donors, international financing institutions, corporate donors, etc.
    "At present, there appears to be no government agency that monitors the flow of public funds to hundreds of NGOs, legitimate or illegitimate. They could be political NGOs, quasi-NGOs (QUANGOs), NGOs run by socialites, or NGOs run by wives of public tycoons," she said.
    Santiago said the implementing agencies are not even created by Congress and instead, many are subsidiary corporations of existing departments or government-owned corporations.
    "These implementing agencies were created by mere administrative orders or created through the Securities and Exchange Commission," the senator said.
    Santiago quoted former budget secretary Benjamin Diokno, who has said that "the proliferation of implementing agencies is highly anomalous, because some of them received more funds than the legitimately created agencies of government."
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