MANILA -- Former Senator Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay Jr. denied any involvement in the pork barrel scam and believes his being linked there is part of the vendetta of those affected by the fertilizer fund scam.
“I was surprised that I was among those mentioned in Mr. Benhur Luy's list which was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last Wednesday, May 14. More than the shock was the huge blow it had dealt not only to me and my family but also to the Magsaysay name,” he said.
Magsaysay said he has never dealt with Janet Napoles, whistleblower Benhur Luy, nor anyone claiming to be a representative of bogus nongovernment organizations (NGOs).
“Most importantly, I did not receive a single centavo in the release of the amount since that would be between the LGUs and the implementing agency. If at all, I surmise that my inclusion was part of the vendetta for having stirred the Report of the Fertilizer Fund Scam,” he said.
Magsaysay explained that he kept quiet until now in order to prepare all pieces of information that would debunk the accusations against him.
“While I am certain that I have not done anything inappropriate or deceitful in all my 12 years in the Senate, I chose to keep silent until I have gathered information and reviewed our files first to answer fully to the Filipino people and prove the accusation false,” he said.
Magsaysay noted that in 2003, the municipalities of Alburquerque and Candijay in Bohol each requested for an assistance of P5 million for their marginal farmers. Due to budget constraints, however, he said he only endorsed P2 million for each.
“Contrary to [Luy’s] claims, however, the beneficiary of said amount was not the People's Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc., (POPDFI) or any of Ms. Janet Napoles' bogus NGOs but the two local government units of Alburquerque and Candijay,” he stressed.
According to the former senator, the municipalities should have received the funds via the implementing agency, the Department of Agriculture.
The allocation was before he learned of the fertilizer fund scam in the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani Program. He filed a resolution probing the P728 million fertilizer fund scam on August 30, 2005.
“Some time before the third public hearing on the Fertilizer Fund Scam in 2005, the office sent a communication to DA that all our remaining projects with DA-OSEC and DA-NAFC covered and beginning 2004-05 General Appropriations Act are being withdrawn and voided. The same was intended to have unbiased and independent investigation on the Fertilizer Fund Scam,” he said.
Magsaysay stressed he went through all legal and proper channels in the disbursement of his pork barrel.