MANILA - Former Compostela Valley congressman and now vice-governor Manuel "Way Kurat" Zamora received over P3 billion in pork barrel allocations from 2007-2009, a special audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA) revealed Friday.
A kristo (bet collector) even after joining Congress, Zamora is a former member of Lakas CMD before he joined the Liberal Party. He achieved fame for being the only lawmaker to ride a bicycle to Congress during his first term as congressman.
The same report also showed then Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile getting P904.5 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), followed by Senators Juan Edgardo Angara (P862.645 million), Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. (P853 million) and Jinggoy Estrada (P825.150 million) during the same 3-year period.
In a press conference, COA Chairwoman Grace Pulido-Tan said a special audit conducted by the agency for the period 2007-2009 revealed various irregularities in the use of the PDAF for soft projects and locally funded projects-various infrastructure including local projects (VILP) of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The COA chief explained each senator is given an annual allocation of P100 million for soft projects and P100 million for hard projects, or a total of P200 million.
On the other hand, congressmen and party-list representatives are given P30 million each for soft projects and P40 million each for hard projects, or P70 million yearly.
Tan said at least 74 legislators exceeded their pork barrel allocations during the three-year period.
Only 3 senators had pork barrel allocations above P600 million from 2007-2009. They are Enrile (P904.5 million), Angara (P862.645 million), Revilla (P853 million) and Estrada (P825.150 million).
Other senators, including now President Benigno Aquino III, received less than the P600 million allocated to them.
Aside from the top 4, those who had the bigger allocations during the 3-year period are Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago (P551.850 million), Manuel Lito Lapid (P366.700 million), Alan Peter Cayetano (P351 million) and Juan Miguel Zubiri (P316.400 million).
Aside from Zamora, several congressmen had pork barrel allocations exceeding P210 million over the 3-year period.
1. Davao City 1st District Rep. Prospero Nograles P604.500 million
2. Surigao del Sur 1st District Rep. Prospero Pichay P300 million
3. Zambales 1st District Rep. Milagros Magsaysay P267.751 million
4. Quirino Rep. Junie Cua P248.910 million
5. Masbate 3rd District Rep. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete P233.550 million
6. Bulacan 2nd District Rep. Pedro Pancho P231.064 million
7. Malabon/Navotas Rep. Alvin Sandoval P230.950 million
8. Bulacan 4th District Rep. Relina Nicolas P230.790 million
9. Masbate 1st District Rep. Narciso Bravo Jr. P230.600
10. Quezon City 3rd District Rep. Matias Defensor Jr. P225 million
11. Sarangani Lone District Rep. Erwin Chiongbian P223 million
12. Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo P220.500 million
13. Camarines Sur 4th District Rep. Felix Alfelor Jr. P220.300 million
14. Nueva Ecija 4th District Rep. Rodolfo Antonino P220 million
15. APEC party-list Rep. Edgard Valdez P215.950 million
16. Catanduanes Rep. Joseph Santiago P214 million
Click here to access the full COA report. https://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/08/16/13/full-coa-report-pdaf-allocation-utilization
Tan noted the Department of Budget and Management could not provide COA the complete schedule of releases per legislator from PDAF for soft projects and VILP for hard projects.
She said the VILP releases included P20 million from the allocation of a certain Luis Abalos who "was not a member of the 13th or 14th Congress."
Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya, the budget secretary during the period, earlier said it is possible that some lawmakers got higher pork barrel allocations.
"In the past, there was no rule that you cannot exceed a certain amount," he told ANC.
Asked if one congressman got P3 billion pork, he said: "Not in a single release but probably in an aggregate amount. But yes, I would confirm that. All the records are there. Some legislators got more than others."
"Once approved, we are left to release these things to the legislators with the knowledge that all of these will be audited," he said.
Tan said 12 senators and 180 representatives allocated P6.156 billion in PDAF to 82 non-government organizations from 2007-2009.
Of the 82 NGOs, 10 groups that received P2.157 billion in PDAF are presently linked to Janet Lim Napoles.