Solon wants GMA 'midnight pork barrel' probed

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2011 06:00 PM | Updated as of Aug 05 2011 02:00 AM

'P435.15 million in PAGCOR money goes to social fund'

MANILA, Philippines - Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares urged the House of Representatives Thursday to investigate the transfer of P435.15 million in Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) funds to then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's presidential social fund in May 2010.

Colmenares' office provided media with documents that allegedly prove there was an attempt to give some funds to the district of former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which was then occupied by her son, Mikey Arroyo.

Three different letters dated May 28, 2010,  signed supposedly by then PAGCOR Chairman Ephraim Genuino, reported to then President Arroyo the remittance of  P170 million, P130 million and P80.15 million to the President's Social Fund.    

Another set of documents, dated on the same date May 28, 2010, are check vouchers for the financial assistance of P1 million for each barangay in the municipalities of Lubao, Floridablanca, Sasmuan, Guagua, Sta Rita and  Porac, Pampanga.

These vouchers have an accumulated worth of some P185 million. However these check vouchers were cancelled.

Colmenares said PAGCOR transmitted a total of P435.15 million from May 24 to May 28, 2010.

"The rush in transmitting these large amounts during the ban and barely a month before she steps down is nothing more than a midnight pork barrel and Genuino has no business giving pabaons to outgoing public officials especially since there is a huge budget deficit and the people are reeling from poverty and lack of government services," he said in a statement.

Colmenares said the House must immediately investigate the PAGCOR fund transfer as well as decide whether government-owned and controlled corporations like PAGCOR should be given intelligence funds.

"It's about time we seriously question this much abused intelligence funds which has been the source of so much corruption. Impunity must end. And it must end now," he said.

During the PAGCOR budget briefing Tuesday, Colmenares asked PAGCOR Chairman Cristino Naguiat to explain what happened to the funds covered by the cancelled check vouchers.

Naguiat said he will ask the Presidential Mmanagement Staff to look into it.

Colmenares said in that budget hearing that 2 lucky districts in Pampanga and Camarines Sur supposedly got funds from the social fund. However, he was not able to show if the funds did end up in the districts.

Arroyo's other son, Dato, holds a congressional seat in Camarines Sur.