Ombudsman indicts Andaya, Napoles, et al for P900–M Malampaya fund scam

admin   •   December 28, 2016   •   8110

(from left to right) Janet Lim Napoles, ormer budget secretary Rolando Andaya Jr., Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and former agrarian reform secretary Nasser Pangandaman.

 

The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to indict a total of 25 personalities allegedly involved in the P900-million Malampaya fund scam.

Among the accused are former budget secretary Rolando Andaya Jr., Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and former agrarian reform secretary Nasser Pangandaman.

Also among the respondents are Ruby Tuason, Janet Lim Napoles, Jo Christine Napoles, James Christopher Napoles and Reynald Lim.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said former officials of the Department of Budget And Management and the Department of Agrarian Reform conspired with bogus non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) to illegally transfer the P900 million Malampaya fund in 2009.

Particularly, a large chunk of the fund was transferred to fake NGO’s controlled by Janet Lim Napoles.

Napoles allegedly forged the signatures and request letters to get financial assistance.

The P900 million Malampaya fund was an allotment for relief operations, rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas devastated by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

However, based on investigation, no relief and agricultural packages had reached the victims.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales clarified why Ruby Tuason is included despite her immunity.

“She had immunity in PDAF case against Enrile but she was not given immunity in this case,” said Ombudsman Morales.

Based on the investigation, Tuason admitted that she received more than P242 million kickback from the said fund by conspiring with Napoles.

Meanwhile, the ombudsman dismissed the case against former President Gloria Arroyo due to lack of evidence. But still she is not yet free as the investigation is still ongoing.

“As of now we still have to determine if there’s a nexus in the commission of the scam between Mrs. Arroyo or between Santos or anyone for that matter,” said Carpio.

All 25 respondents will face charges of plunder, graft and malversation through falsification of documents. — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue

Ex-Congressman Andaya survives ambush try in Camarines Sur

Robie de Guzman   •   June 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Unidentified gunmen attacked former Camarines Sur Representative Rolando Andaya Jr. while on board his vehicle in Pili town on Tuesday, local police said.

In a statement, the Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) said the incident occurred around 5:45 a.m. along Maharlika Highway in Barangay Palestina.

Initial investigation showed the suspects on board a motorcycle shot at Andaya’s vehicle before fleeing the scene. Two fired cartridges of caliber .45 were recovered from the area.

The former lawmaker was unhurt in the incident, police said.

PRO5 chief Police Brigadier General Jonnel Estomo said he has ordered an investigation into the shooting incident.

A special provincial investigation team was also created to help identify the suspects.

Estomo said additional police units were deployed in the area to monitor and prevent similar incidents.

“Tayo po ang nagdeploy na ng karagdagan pulis sa lugar upang alisin ang pangamba sa ating mga kababayan na naroon,” Estomo said.

“Makakaasa po kayo na kami ay makikipagtulungan sa mga witnesses at mga local government official ng Camarines Sur upang mapabilis na pagtukoy at pagresolba sa insidenteng ito,” he added.

Andaya tells Malacañang: Bare vetoed parts in 2019 budget

Robie de Guzman   •   April 16, 2019

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – A leader of the House of Representatives on Monday urged Malacañang to bare the details of the provisions in the 2019 national budget that were vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. made the call after Duterte signed the 2019 General Appropriations Act but vetoed more than P95 billion items of appropriations in the details of the projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

READ: Duterte signs P3.7-T national budget for 2019

Andaya said the Palace should reveal the details of the vetoed provisions “in the interest of transparency and for the guidance of the public.”

“I urge Malacañang to release the President’s veto message in full immediately so that we can base our reaction on the official document,” he said in a statement.

The lawmaker also hinted that the Senate’s alleged pork barrel remains intact in the newly-signed 2019 budget, saying this could be the reason why Senators are in celebratory mood over the deletion of the House amendments amounting to P95.3 billion.

“My friends in the Senate are going to town claiming victory over the deletion of the House amendments. Does this mean that the Senate port remains intact? Could this be the reason for their celebratory mood?” Andaya said.

The solon also argued that the President’s veto on several items in the budget could be “conditional” in nature.

“I believe that the veto being speculated about is of the conditional kind.  As such, the appropriation remains but its release is subject to conditions,” he said.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a text message on Monday that Duterte vetoed some parts in the budget that were not part of the administration’s “programmed priorities.”

Andaya has been insisting that the realignments they made were not post-ratification as these had been authorized by the bicameral conference committee report and did not exceed the expenditure ceilings of respective departments and agencies.

He also said that Senate President Vicente Sotto’s signing of the budget bill with strong reservations was ill-advised and baseless.

READ: Andaya hits Sotto’s “strong reservations” in signing 2019 budget bill 

Meanwhile, Senators have expressed relief with the signing of the budget and commended Duterte for vetoing the questionable insertions in the 2019 spending program.   

“I am relieved that the 2019 budget has finally been signed, primarily because further delay would have caused adverse effects on our macroeconomy,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said in a statement.

“The veto is proof that the Senate was right all along in saying that the changes made were unconstitutional,” he added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson also lauded Duterte’s move, calling the signing of the “pork-free” national budget a “victory for Filipino taxpayers.”

“If there is one act of PRRD (President Rodrigo Duterte) that is worthy of admiration, this veto message is on top of my list,” Lacson added.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon also believes that Duterte’s decision to reject the P95-billion items of appropriations is constitutional.

“The President’s line item veto is based on legal and constitutional grounds, and not because the President sided with the Senate,” Drilon said.

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, urged her colleagues and the public to be alert to ensure that the taxpayers’ money will be spent accordingly.

“Magbantay tayo para matiyak na ang huling piso ay sa kapakanan ng taumbayan mapupunta,” she said.

(We should be on guard to ensure that the last peso will be spent on the public’s welfare.) – Robie de Guzman (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

Duterte Cabinet members do not resort to bribery —Malacañang

admin   •   February 8, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 34th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on February 6, 2019. | Richard Madelo\PCOO

House Appropriations Committee chair Congressman Rolando Andaya hurled another accusation against Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Andaya claims that Diokno attempted to bribe them to back down on the issue regarding the alleged insertions in the 2019 proposed national budget.

“Secretary Diokno tried to buy our cooperation. He offered the House P40-billion for us to shut up about the P70-billion insertions,” Andaya said.

The allegation was emphatically denied by the budget secretary: “Absolutely false. It is another one of his wild and baseless allegations.”

Malacañang stood firm on its position that members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet do not engage bribery.

“We in the Cabinet certainly and in the administration of President Duterte, we do not resort to things like bribing,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

The Palace added that Diokno still enjoys the trust of the president, although they are not dismissing the allegations of Andaya which the secretary still has to answer point by point.

“So, mabigat yung mga akusasyon. I hope it can be addressed immediately,” Nograles said.

Meanwhile, Malacañang assured that President Duterte will approve a national budget that is pork barrel-free.

“Everything is legal here because obviously the last thing we would want anyone to do is to question it before the Supreme Court and we want this budget clean and we want this budget implemented,” Nograles said.

The statement was made after Senator Panfilo Lacson called on the Chief Executive to use his line-item veto power over the 2019 appropriations measure “by removing all the ‘pork’ inserted by lawmakers.” — Rosalie Coz

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