Senators' pork go missing in Bataan town

from a report by Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2013 10:58 PM | Updated as of Sep 05 2013 07:54 AM

MANILA - Around P40 million in senators' pork barrel funds coursed through a foundation linked to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles did not reach all intended beneficiaries in a town in Bataan province.

A Commission on Audit (COA) report on the pork barrel scam shows the money was meant for residents of Pilar, Bataan.

However, only a few received the assistance.

One old, worn-out owner-type jeep is the only vehicle that barangay personnel have in Sta. Rosa in Pilar town.

"Meron kami dati, kaso pagkatapos ng eleksyon binawi. Sabi pare-rehistro lang daw kaso 'di na binalik," said village watchman Jose Bautista.

According to a COA report for Pilar, the town received P10 million from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Senator Jinggoy Estrada in 2011.

The money was meant for a "Barangay Peace and Order" project.

Instead of going straight to the town's coffers, the funds went through the "People's Organization for Progress and Development Foundation" (POPDF).

The foundation supposedly used the money to prepare so-called "tanod packs" that contain a whistle, club, vest, t-shirt, cap, and pepper spray.    

The audit report also shows that from the P10 million, only 99 packs were distributed to the town of Pilar.

"Masakit sa loob na malaman kasi biktima kami eh. Marami na sana ang napuntahan iyan," said barangay captain Ed Santos.

"Sayang, malaking tulong po sana sa amin iyan," said Bautista.

But municipal accountant Alicia Landringan denied the COA report's figures, saying they got more than 1,000 packs from POPDF.

Each pack was supposedly worth P10,000.

She said some of the packs were even distributed to other towns in Bataan.

Landringan claimed that there are no irregularities in the transactions.
Aside from the P10 million from Estrada's pork barrel, the COA is also looking into how the town spent the P20 million from the PDAF of Senator Tito Sotto and P10 million from Senator Bongbong Marcos.    
All of these funds supposedly went through POPDF in 2011 and were meant to give assistance to farmers.
Some farmers in Pilar said they did receive sprayers and other equipment.

But according to the COA report, even if the NGO had a project proposal and a memorandum of agreement, it has not yet submitted a liquidation report that will show how the money was used.

COA recently tagged POPDF as one of the bogus NGOs linked to Janet Lim Napoles, the businesswoman at the center of the P10-billion pork barrel scam rocking government.

Meanwhile, Marcos said he will not comment on the issue until the pork barrel probe is finished.
As for Sotto, he insisted he never gave money to any questionable group.

He added that he is also not familiar with POPDF.

ABS-CBN News also tried to get a comment from Estrada, to no avail. - ANC