Janet Lim Napoles…. Pork Queen or Scapegoat?

scapegoat1Janet Lim Napoles is not the only name that appears to be embroiled in the P10 Billion Pork Barrel Scam.  Along with her name are the names of slew of congressmen, senators, and other government officials who stand accused of lining their pockets with pork barrel funds — some of which appear in the blog Dulz Speaks which published a supposed anonymous account of the pork barrel scam.

It’s funny that while Napoles is on the receiving end of a great amount of vilification, it doesn’t seem that enough people are training their guns on the elected and appointed officials who actually control the release of the pork barrel funds.

Some blogs have been portraying Napoles as the “pork queen”, but to me, she seems more like the scapegoat.  Because of the accusations hurled against her, it seems Napoles is being made responsible for all the thieving and stealing that’s going on in government.  And while this is happening, the supposed the congressmen and senators (who made all the thieving and stealing possible in the first place) are escaping blame and punishment.

If it is true that Napoles wealth originated from skimming off a percentage from the pork barrel funds of legislators, it would also be true that corrupt legislators lined their pockets with the larger portion of the stolen pork barrel funds.  In that case, in my simple figuring of things, both the skimmer and the larger beneficiaries of the pork barrel scam as well as the government bureaucrats who released it should be punished together.

PNOY PDAF APPROPRIATIONSIt occurs to me, at this point, that even if Napoles is driven out like a scapegoat, pork barrel corruption will still continue because it is entirely conceivable that corrupt legislators and various corrupt functionaries of government line agencies will find another person or create other organizations to continue their pork barrel corruption.

If the opportunity to steal from pork barrel funds is in direct proportional to its size, then the Aquino Administration’s pork barrel allocation a whole lot more opportunities for corruption — even more than the previous administration.

In 2010, towards the end of the Arroyo Administration’s term, pork barrel allocations hovered around P10 Billion.  In the 2014 budget, according to Agham (from whom the graph on the left supposedly comes from), the Aquino Administration’s pork barrel fund allocation has swollen to THREE TIMES that of the 2010 pork barrel allocation!

In an interview with Winnie Monsod, COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza reveals that pork barrel fund corruption continues under the Aquino Administration and the amount that has been STOLEN through pork barrel funds could ACTUALLY be THREE TIMES bigger than the P10 Billion that legislators stole allegedly with the help of Napoles.

Below are some excerpts which I have transcribed:

Winnie Monsod: Papaano nalusot sa inyo? (How did this pork barrel scam get passed COA?)

Heidi Mendoza: Since 2007, nag-isyu na po kami ng aming rules in terms of exacting accountability among non government organizations. Nilagay po namin dito ang controls na kung ano dapat ang hanapin ng implementing agencies. Ang nagiging problema po natin dito ay iyong implementation. (Since 2007, we issued rules in terms of exacting accountability from non-government organizations.  The problem occurs in its implementation.)

While it is very clear na kailangan may experience yung non-government organizations, mayroon silang financial statement na examined ng isang certified public accountant, at mayroon silang financial capacity, nakita po namin sa review na hindi po ito napapatupad ng implementing agencies. (While it is very clear that these NGOs should have experience, a financial statement examined by a certified public accountant, and proof of financial capacity, we have seen in our review that these requirements are not being fulfilled.)

Sa halip na in tranches ang releases at hintayin muna ang liquidation documents, nire-release ng buo ang pera kahit wala pong nasu-submit na liquidation documents. (Instead of releasing the funds in tranches and waiting for liquidation documents for the previous tranche released, the funds are released fully without waiting for liquidation documents.)

 

W: Bakit itong mga implementing agencies eh hindi sinusunod ang implementing rules and guidelines ng COA?

DODO MACASAET, CODE NGO: Kaming mga lehitimong NGO, nahihirapan kumuha ng pondo. Itong kasong ito (referring to the P10 Billion Pork Barrel scam) malinaw na mayroong pagko-kontsabahan. (We legitimate NGOs are having a hard time getting funds.  It’s clear that there is collusion involved.)

 

W: Sino ang nangongontsaba? (Who are colluding to make this happen?)

DM: Ang lumalabas po sa report ay yung implementing agency, the legislator, and yung hindi legitimate na NGO. (What is shown in our report is that the implementing agency, the legislator, and illegitimate NGOs.)

 

W: Kung hindi sila legitimate, papaano nakaka-release ng funds sa kanila? Papaano sila nachoo-choose in the first place? Hindi ba dapat may bidding yan? (If these NGOs are not legitimate, how is it possible that they’re able to get funds? Isn’t there supposed to be a bidding process?)

HM: Meron pong hindi nagbi-bidding, mayroong nagbi-bidding pero bidding-biddingan lamang. Mayroon ditong nagtuturuan lang eh. Minsan sasabihin ng legislator na hindi ako ang nag-identify ng NGO na yan, it’s the implementing agency. Pagtinanong mo ang implementing agency, ang sasabihin nito eh ‘dumating yung NGO may dala-dalang sulat galing kay congressman’. Babalikan namin ang congressman, sasabihin naman “Fake ang signature ko dyan, ginamit ako ng non government organization.” (There are cases where there is no bidding, there are cases where the bidding is rigged.  There is a fair amount of buck passing.  There are instances where the legislator denies he or she identified the NGO and he points to the implementing agency.  When we ask the implementing agency, they turn around and say that the NGO presented a letter from a congressman.  Then when we go back to the congressman, he says that his signature was forged.)

 

W: Sinasabi ng mga legislators na hindi sa kanila dumadaan ang funds, paano sila nakaka-kurakot? (Legislators say that the pork barrel funds do not pass through their offices, but how is it that they are able to plunder the funds?)

 HM: Mayroon kaming nakitang mga examples na iyong implementing agencies na may NGO na may relationship dun sa legislator. Pangalawa, magdududa po kayo, kung halimbawa, itong legislator na ito mag-identify ng NGO nya. Pero, iyong NGO naka-base sa Quezon City pero ang project ay nasa Lanao del sur. (We’ve seen examples where the implementing agency’s NGO has a relationship with the legislator.  Second, there are instances where we’ve seen a legislator identifying an NGO based in Quezon City but the project to be implemented is in Lanao del sur.)

 

W: Sinong pinaka-malaking recipient of PDAF sa mga government agencies? (Aside from the hard projects which is the DPWH) (Which agencies or programs are the biggest recipients of PDAF?)

HM: Base po dun sa audit namin, malalaki po ang releases sa Zrec, sa Nabcor, and this time, lumilipat naman po sa DENR Philforest.  (Based on our audit, largest releases were to ZREC, NABCOR, and this time around, DENR Philforest.)

 

W: Sa tingin niyo, gaano kalaking porsyento ng PDAF ay nawawala sa irregularities? (In your view, how large of a percentage of the PDAF is lost due to irregularities?)

 HM: Because of lack of documentation, hindi namin kaagad ma-conclude na may nangyari na kalokohan sa pondo. (Because of lack of documentation, we cannot immediately conclude that irregularities happened with the funds.)

 

W: Ay kung tatlong taon na eh walang liquidation, sasabihin na walang irregularity?! (Three years pass without the liquidation documents for the funds being submitted, and you’re saying that there are no irregularities?)

HM: Iyong nga ho eh…. Kung sasabihin na sa loob ng dalawang taon hindi pa nakakapag-submit ng liquidation documents, dito po namin masasabi na posibleng walang nangyari at posibleng napunta sa ibang proyekto.  (That’s the thing… If in two years a liquidation report is not submitted, it is possible that nothing happened to the project and it’s possible that the money went to another project.)

 

W: Itong scam na supposedly by the Napoles group is only the soft part, papaano nangyari na P10 Billion ang nakuha? (The scam supposedly done by the Napoles group is only the soft part, how did the manage to get P10 Billion?)

HM: Una, dun sa sinasabi namin na hindi na-implement iyong rules and even the specific provisions of the memorandum of agreement. Ito iyong sinasabi naming sa soft, yung mga training for example may pinapakita sa report namin na may ghost training. For example, may nag-training daw ng farmers pero pag tinignan namin ang listahan, mukhang isa lang ang pumirma ng mga pangalan. (First, the rules weren’t implemented and even the specific provisions of the memorandum of agreement.  This is what we are saying about the soft projects, in our report it is shown that ghost training projects happened.  For example, there was supposed to be a farming training but when we looked at the list, it seems that only one person signed for all the names.)

 

W: Eh paano kung lumabas ang report niyo, it’s bigger than P10 Billion pala? (What if your report shows that the scam is bigger than P10 Billion?)

HM: It’s bigger than P10 Billion.

 W: Twice more? Three times more?

HM: Mga three times more. (Around three times more.)

 

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Post Author: Paul Farol

Try not to take me too seriously.

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20 Comments on "Janet Lim Napoles…. Pork Queen or Scapegoat?"

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Peace Walker
Guest

Why do I feel like at any given moment, this country’s gonna burst out into a revolution? They can’t contain the steaming contempt of everyone else outside the government much longer.

eachhisown
Guest
Once again there will be feast in the senate again because those panel members would have new source of millions extra income in this new P10 billion scam investigation. However, just like the Philippines TV soap shows, the plot would surely be the same. The victim whose life would be totally ruined would be that of the whistle blower Benhur K. Luy and whoever would be with him. Just like Lozada in the NBN-ZTE scandal, his life was totally destroyed while Gloria Arroyo is enjoying more pork being a congresswoman of the second district of Pampanga. Whatever happened to ex-justice… Read more »
peter
Guest

With regard to lozada, naibalik ba ang money and properties na nakuha nya at ng kapatid nya? He and his family now enjoying the money. Pagkinulang sa hatian, sigaw lang ng korap po si presidente. Tapos.

Johnny Saint
Guest

Early this year the ombudsman pushed through with the case against Jun Lozada and formally charged him. As the administration no longer needs him, President Penoy has said publicly that Lozada should just face the charges against him. Typically, Lozada’s response has been to hide behind nuns.

libertas
Guest
after coal, property plastiics suddenly janet lim napoles says her wealth came from a 200 million peso inheritance – but she naturally wont say from whom!! haha And her daughters extravagant lifestyle was part of a college project!!! hehe Only filipinos would be stupid enough to believe their excuses which become crazier by the day, but since they believed pnoy aquino’s lies anything is possible. Her other porky pig daughter – no need to ask who eats the pies in the napoles family – will now not be congresswoman. At least one door closed. Next mar roxas will shut down… Read more »
ChinoF
Member

Could be both, porker and scapegoat. But indeed, the thing happening to Napoles is something like Gloria Arroyo’s case… “you be the fall guy, while we all remain scot-free.”

Benjo
Guest

U get it now?

Julie
Guest
Hindi naman po mutually exclusive ang pork queen at scapegoat diba? Both terms can be used to identify a single entity. “It’s funny that while Napoles is on the receiving end of a great amount of vilification, it doesn’t seem that enough people are training their guns on the elected and appointed officials who actually control the release of the pork barrel funds.” Oo nga po. Funny nga. Ganito na lang, ipasa na kasi ang FOI bill para magkalabasan ng ng kailangan ilabas. Kawawa naman si Mrs. Napoles. Kung may corruption man na mate-trace sa kanya — and I’m not… Read more »
Paul Farol (@paulfarol)
Guest
Paul Farol (@paulfarol)

I don’t think Napoles is completely innocent, but I also recognize that what I think shouldn’t matter as much as what can be proven in a court of law.

This is a difficult position to take, much more than calling it one way or another just based on the stuff I read in the newspapers and blogs.

Johnny Saint
Guest

True. But what is really disturbing is that the whole affair is being played out on the Internet. In blogs, Facebook and Twitter. And in traditional media — newspapers, radio and television. The only place it is NOT being seriously pursued is in the proper forum of a criminal investigation.

libertas
Guest

And that is why, if people sit on the fence it plays into the hands of the ‘system’.
The less official action demands more unofficial ‘noise’
The affair stinks from malacanan to forbes park and money laundered condos in the US.

Hardly rocket science to undertake a forensic paper trail/asset compilation etc.

The less action only correlates with the greater stink.

Johnny Saint
Guest

I agree the general public should make noise. We should express outrage that public funds are being misspent. Worse, that they are being stolen. When we show we are angered by this, it means we have a vested interest in ensuring that government does its job. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the truth. We should insist on good governance and accountability. And that means compelling the state to use the resources at its disposal to investigate the PDAF row, not allow it to be tried in public.

Benjo
Guest

after seeing what masquerades as a judicial system(the ‘Jose Bossa’ story at the trial of the year 2012), and seeing how the law is rigged to protect individuals who plunder, YOU actually think the ‘das pinas’ has a judicial system?

MY GAAD MON, u must be brain bleedin,HA!

eachhisown
Guest
I agree with Johnny Saint. We need to make MORE noise. We must spread awareness among majority of people demanding for the government to spend the annually budgeted money for provincial circumferential highways, bridges, government offices rehabilitation and maintenance, etc. Just look at the projects “directly” facilitated by the government i.e. DPWH, they build bridges which are far below capacity mostly up to five tons only. What is five tons when an average weight of one dump truck with gravel is already around 14 tons? An 84 passenger bus weighs from 13 to 14 tons? Government offices like the capitol… Read more »
peter
Guest

Bidding biddingan, same system being used by the department of tourism. http://wheninphilippines.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/department-of-tourism-bidding/ –hopeless philippines. I wish at least one senator or congressman will be put in jail.

libertas
Guest

Nearly 50% of the 2014 budget ( 1 Trillion pesos) is unaudited ‘presidential pork barrel’ – no doubt the war chest being built up for 2016.
Pnoy et al are having a laugh as they piss on the poor, and all the masa do is say thank you, no questions asked.

“You get what you deserve”

charlie
Guest

A must read Blog,
about sa wealth ng mga napoles, very interesting kasi detailed ung information and accurate ung mga assumptions ng blogger
adf#.ly/TfnlR

liberty
Guest

Can we have a signature campaign to push for eradication of pork barrel and FOI?

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