Bicol Headline News, August 26, 2013
Bicolanos join million march, COA tags 13 congressmen in PDAF list
A unified group of concerned citizens composed of students, farmers, transport organizations and educators massed at the Penaranda Park of Legazpi city for a march rally which urged the scrapping of the controversial Presidential Development Assistance Fund. According to estimate, attendees numbered about 300. This is in response to the social networking netizens call for a “Million People’s March” nationwide today.
Even as President Aquino has been dragged to act on the the controversy on Presidential Development Assistance Fund scam, it might seem it is here to stay.
Recently, the Commission on Audit released the list of 12 senators and 180 congressmen who had funds transferred by different government agencies to 82 NGOs with the lawmakers’ endorsement. Ten of the NGOs identified received P2.157 billion, were linked to Janet Lim- Napoles, of the pork barrel scam.
COA chairman Grace Pulido – Tan revealed the findings conducted by its Special Audit of the PDAF for three years during the Arroyo administration.
The audit found the implementing agencies transferred the funds to the NGOs identified by the legislators, and not through public bidding as required in the government procurement policy, and then barely monitored the projects.
By some luck the names of thirteen Bicol congressmen were included in the COA audit list which include past and current legislators.
Thirteen congressmen from the Bicol region were listed as among those who had pork barrel funds siphoned by NGOs in 2007 and 2009: They include past and current legislators. The thirteen Bicol congressmen are:
Felix Alfelor Jr., Dato Arroyo, Arnulfo Fuentebella and Luis Villafuerte Sr. of Camarines Sur; Al Francis Bichara, Carlos Imperial, Reno Lim and Jose Clemente Salceda of Albay; Narciso Bravo Jr. and Emilio Espinosa Jr. of Masbate; Salvador Escudero and Jose Solis of Sorsogon; and Joseph Santiago of Catanduanes.