2020-11-30

Pork barrel scam involves 5 senators and 23 congressmen

According to a report made by Nancy Carvajal  in Philippine Daily Inquirer, at least “5 senators and 23 members of the House of Representatives made available their pork barrel funds to dummy nongovernment organizations [NGOs] for purported ghost projects worth P10 billion over the past decade.” Affidavits were subsequently sent to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Topping the list is Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. who allegedly allowed use of his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) otherwise known as pork barrel by Janet Lim-Napoles, president and CEO of the trading firm JLN Corp. The dummy NGOs which were duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission were organized by Napoles.

Revilla’s alleged P1 billion scam is followed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s P640 million, Jinggoy Estrada’s P585M, Bongbong Marcos’ P100M, and Honasan’s P15M.

Contrary to another newspaper report, Sen. Loren Legarda was not involved in the scam, said the principal whistle-blower, Benhur Luy, a former Napoles employee. “There was an attempt, but I heard she was dropped because she scrutinized it and she was very keen on receipts,” Luy told the Daily Inquirer.

Topping the list of 23 House representatives is Rizalina Seachon-Lanete of Masbate’s third district, who allowed her pork barrel to be used 13 times; followed by Conrado Estrella III of Pangasinan’s 6th district and Rodolfo Plaza of Agusan del Sur, both on nine occasions; and Samuel Dangwa, of Benguet, eight.

Pork barrel is a derogatory term referring to appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district. The bulk of the funds usually end up in the politician’s pocket.