MANILA - After watching an ABS-CBN News special report on alleged corruption in the use of the multibillion-peso Agricultural Enhancement Fund (ACEF), two former officials have found the courage to come forward and bear witness to the alleged anomalies in the fund.
The two linked their former boss at the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) to the alleged misuse of some P1.4 billion sourced from the ACEF.
Rhodora Mendoza, former NABCOR vice-president for finance, is linking her former boss, Alan Javellana to more alleged anomalies.
"Mr. Javellana should be held liable and accountable. He shouldn't take all the blame. He should name names," Mendoza said.
She claimed that the former NABCOR president was behind questionable transactions for 4 ACEF projects worth P1.4 billion.
Mendoza said part of the P1.4 billion was used to bankroll the campaign expenses of lawmakers.
"Sinabi na rin sa akin ng boss ko na election money iyun," she said. "Simply, para sa mga susuportahan."
Mendoza said she had been quietly working with the Fraud and Investigation Office of the Commission on Audit since 2008, or long before the P10-billion pork barrel scandal was exposed in July 2013.
She has kept some documents to reinforce her claims that NABCOR funds were misused.
One of these is a photocopy of a check which was encashed even if it did not bear her signature.
Mendoza said she was later pressured into signing the check despite the absence of required documents.
"Para na hindi ako mahalata na gusto kong bumangga o ayaw ko iyung ginagawa ko, sumunod ako kasi kailangan ko ng trabaho," she said.
Another whistleblower, former NABCOR paralegal officer Victor Cacal, also claimed that Javellana ordered him to alter bidding documents of favored suppliers several times.
Javellana allegedly wanted to make it appear that bidding took place even if there was none.
Cacal said this happened to a mechanical flatbed dryer project worth P403 million.
"Wala kamin magagawa. We were silenced by the boss. It's not your place to question his authority," he said.
ABS-CBN went to the flatbed dryer project in Bulacan but rice farmers said they only use it to dry their palay during the rainy season.
"Kasi mayroon kaming mga solar dryer pa, eh. Sa solar dryer, bente pesos lang. Dito kuwarenta," said farmer Alejandro Garcia.
Another farmer, Marciano Monsayac, said the solar dryer would not cost more than P300,000.
Mendoza and her staff inspected similar projects and discovered malfunctioning flatbed dryers.
COA inspectors made similar findings.
At the Clark Special Economic Zone, it seemed that the P195 million from ACEF earmarked for the purchase of brand new food processing plant went to waste.
After three years of operation and losses, the plant was closed.
Mendoza and Cacal suspected that the plant was defective upon acquisition.
"Mayroon na po akong napansin na nagkakalawang. Kumita siya pero nagastos din doon sa maintenance," Mendoza said.
The plant is believed to have been also overpriced.
"Nung pina-appraise namin lately iyun, less than 20 million lang ang worth nun," Cacal said.
Until now, Javellana has remained elusive.
ABS-CBN News not received a reply for him to air his side of the story.
For Mendoza and Cacal, this is the just the beginning of their revelations.
All three are facing plunder charges for the pork barrel scam before the Office of the Ombudsman. - with ANC