VIDEO: PING LACSON & 'PORK' / MACEDA: BUCK STOPS AT PNoy
MANILA, SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 (GMA NEWS) Some "operators" used sexy girls to be able to get projects funded through pork barrel allocations from lawmakers, former Senator Panfilo Lacson (photo) said Friday.
In an interview on Philippine cable news channel ANC, Lacson said his friend from the House of Representatives narrated to him how beautiful women will be the one to bring folders containing project proposals to offices of congressmen.
"Ang gaganda ng babaeng nagpupunta roon, mga sexy, na may mga dalang mga folders, mga projects na kapag pumayag ka, pati yung babae sa 'yo na," Lacson said.
He did not identify which House member told him the story, and which congressmen accepted projects from the supposed "operators" who were out to get a portion of lawmakers' pork barrel funds.
The former senator likewise said that Janet Lim-Napoles, who allegedly masterminded a supposed pork barrel scam that got P10 billion in public funds for ghost projects, is only one of the "operators" in Congress.
"Let's not deal with Napoles because I think Napoles is just a poster person of a group of operators independently operating," Lacson said.
Lacson made these revelations at the height of the controversy involving Napoles, and more supposed irregularities revealed in a Commission on Audit (COA) report released last week.
The former senator's name is being floated as a possible special independent investigator in alleged anomalies involving the pork barrel funds. — ELR, GMA News
VIDEO GMA INTERVIEW PING LACSON & THE 'PORK'
PING LACSON: Porsyentuhan sa PDAF
Published on Aug 26, 2013: Inamin ni dating Sen. Panfilo Lacson na 20%-40% ang natatanggap ng isang mambabatas sa isang proyektong pinondohan nito ng kaniyang pork barrel fund. Ayon kay Lacson, ang naranasan niyang pambababoy sa mga proyektong pinaglaanan ng kaniyang PDAF ang dahilan kaya di na siya tumanggap pa ng pork barrel.
FROM PHILSTAR - OPINION
Buck stops with P-Noy IN SEARCH FOR TRUTH By Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 31, 2013 - 12:00am
The House Minority Bloc headed by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Romualdez put the blame squarely on President Aquino for the misuse of the PDAF.
“Let it not be said that we might all be missing the point. Ultimately, it is the President of the Philippines who has the ultimate responsibility, discretion, and any liability for the budget.”
PDAF releases are made by the Department of Budget and Management to nominees designated by lawmakers only upon approval of the President. That has been the case since President Cory’s time in 1990.
Abakada Party-list Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz joined Rep. Romualdez in criticizing COA Chief Grace P. Tan for releasing only a list but not an audit. They pointed out the erroneous attribution of P3 billion to former Rep. Way Kurat Zamora was a disservice to the congressman and to Congress.
Surigao Del Sur Rep. Philip Pichay, who is an auditor joined Romualdez and Dela Cruz in asking for the resignation of COA Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan.
Meanwhile Bacoor Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla in a radio interview said that it’s ok to abolish the PDAF if her constituents stop asking her for money.
Chief Justice speaks
Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno called a presscon to tackle the problems of the judiciary.
She revealed that the system is so clogged with 660,000 cases. She also reported a continuing problem to fill up judicial vacancies which is about 25% of court positions available.
She admitted however, that while some courts can have as much as 5,000 cases, there are courts with only a few or no cases.
CJ Sereno called for more trust in the efforts of the Supreme Court to effect reforms.
She admitted that her husband has power over her and is the Chief Justice in the Sereno home but he does not meddle in her work.
She revealed a low 20% conviction rate, especially drug cases because of the non-appearance of police witnesses.
As expected she asked an increase in the budget of the Judiciary.
She refused to comment on the pork barrel scam.
P-Noy to account
President Aquino promised yesterday to give an accounting of the Presidential Social fund (PSF). He instructed the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) to disclose how the fund has been spent. This is a good move.
President Aquino had earlier claimed that the PSF has been tapped to provide benefits to wives and children of slain soldiers and policemen.
Previous presidents have used the PSF to give donations to churches and other charitable institutions. It has also funded water projects requested by local government units (LGUs).
Details of the use of the P7.5-billion calamity funds must also be disclosed as there have been reports of recipient offices including LGUs which have misused the same. Account too for donations made by international organizations to calamity victims.
The same is true of the P1-billion discretionary fund as well as donations directly funded by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Details of the release of the Malampaya Fund and the Road User’s Tax collections must also be disclosed.
The Office of the President is also allocated a P500-million intelligence fund.
Malampaya fund unaccounted for
Former DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the Malampaya fund is like the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) which can be spent upon the sole discretion of the President. He said it should be submitted to the Treasury.
Recent reports show the Malampaya fund collection now has a total of P165.3 billion.
A Commission on Audit (COA) report shows that P23.6 billion has been spent by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo before the 2010 elections. The current balance is P127 billion.
Department of Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla reported that President Aquino has spent P15 billion of the Malampaya funds. P900 million was released upon the request of mayors using bogus NGOs through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
One valid question, why has the Malampaya fund not been used to solve the electricity crisis in Mindanao?
Blue Ribbon hearing on pork
Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla, and Gringo Honasan did not attend the Blue Ribbon Committee initial hearing on the pork barrel scam.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada attended to give a statement denying any wrongdoing but left afterwards.
Senator Ralph Recto attended but elicited an admission from COA that there were no documents showing he had signed a request or endorsement for a Priority Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) release to an NGO.
Mentioned in the COA report are Senators Manuel Lapid and Edgardo Angara.
The hearing will resume next Thursday.
TIDBITS: President Aquino announced a P10-M bounty for information leading to the arrest of Janet Lim Napoles. She surrendered to the President on Wednesday night.
A new flag pole at the Luneta will be constructed at a cost of P7.8 million. An unnecessary expense.
Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting has filed a resolution to investigate the state of the Inter-Island Shipping Industry.
Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo is proposing the creation of District Development Councils to decide on the priorities for projects to be funded by Congress. It looks like a duplication of the Provincial Development Councils.
Ariel Marantan, 47, a brother of Supt. Hansel Marantan, a suspect in the Atimonan rubout incident, was shot dead by 4 men riding on motorcycles in Lemery, Batangas.
Senator JV Ejercito pushed for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill as a way to find out how government officials spent public funds.
Atty. Romy Makalintal is right to question why P125 million is budgeted for the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) when there is no electoral protest filed? Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago questions the big budget for the 4 top officers of the Senate, i.e. the Senate President, the Senate President Pro Tempore, the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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