How fake NGOs raked in P10B from government

from a report by Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 12 2013 09:47 PM | Updated as of Jul 13 2013 09:37 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is looking into an alleged P10-billion scam by a company that set up fake nongovernment organizations (NGOs).

The organizations are believed to have benefited from the pork barrel of several lawmakers, as well as the fertilizer fund mess and proceeds from Malampaya.

In a letter addressed to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, lawyer Levito Baligod asked for help.

His client, Benhur Luy, was reportedly detained in a condominium in Taguig because he knew about illegal business practices in the appropriation of the pork barrel of certain lawmakers and projects during the Arroyo administration.

After Luy was rescued last March, he issued an affidavit accusing the JLN Group of Companies of being involved in anomalous deals.

Luy was employed by his relative, Janet Napoles -- the owner of JLN.

Other employees and relatives of Luy claim the company set up 5 fake NGOs that became beneficiaries under the fertilizer fund scam, Malampaya scam, and the pork barrel of some lawmakers.

The employees of JLN, and even the household help, became the presidents and officials of the fake NGOs.

A number of cities also became beneficiaries, but the signatures of the local officials were fabricated.

According to the affidavit of JLN project coordinator Merlina Sunas, the government funds appropriated to the fake NGOs were remitted to Napoles.

Sunas added, Malampaya had a P900-million budget, but there were no deliveries of supplies and materials.

The liquidation reports submitted to concerned government agencies were also allegedly fabricated.

She said this was also the modus for the pork barrel of some lawmakers and the controversial fertilizer fund scam.

The DOJ dismissed the serious illegal detention case filed against Napoles for lack of probable cause.

Napoles also submitted an affidavit to the DOJ denying any involvement in Luy's detention.

The NBI has refused to give a statement about the case.

The investigation, however, about the fake NGOs, is still ongoing.

Better integrity in fund release

Malacañang on Friday said it has taken steps to ensure the integrity of the disbursement of government funds since President benigno Aquino assumed office in 2010.

Palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte made the statement, amid the probe into the alleged P10-billion scam.

Valte said while she is not privy to the contents of the probe, President Aquino has strict orders for his Cabinet members to be on guard for such scams.

"When the President assumed office in June 2010, isa po 'yan doon sa mga naging marching orders niya sa mga miyembro ng Gabinete na tingnan po, gumawa ng imbentaryo nung mga proyektong nasa ilalim ng kanilang mga departamento at ahensiya at gawan po ito ng kaukulang aksyon," Valte said.

"So, suffice to say, that our Cabinet secretaries are, of course, on guard for things like these," she added. - with ANC