Warns against selective and “edited” expose by state witness applicants Mendoza and Cacal

MANILA, Philippines–Sanlakas lawyer Argee Guevarra today amplified calls by the Scrap Pork Network (SPN,) which initiated the Million People March in Luneta last year, for an exhaustive and separate senate inquiry into the brazen plunder of NABCOR funds in light of recent revelations made by former NABCOR officials Rhodora Mendoza and Vic Cacal who were named co-respondents in plunder cases filed by the DOJ-NBI and private complainants Benhur Luy and Atty. Levy Baligod against several opposition lawmakers and GMA-era government officials.

Guevarra filed last January a plunder complaint against Department of Agriculture Secretary and NABCOR Chairman Proceso Alcala and NABCOR President/CEO Honesto Baniqued for missing Php 1.07 billion NABCOR funds for calendar year 2012-2013 through disbursements made by the graft-ridden agency.

The Php 1 billion missing fund is just part of disbursements made by NABCOR from 2009 to 2013 totaling Php 11.4 billion pesos which have practically been plundered by both opposition and administration politicians in what has become known as the Pork Barrel Scam.

Guevarra cited that the revelations made by NABCOR officials Rhodora Mendoza and Vic Cacal appears to be in the process of being deliberately manipulated to engender a public perception of the Pork Barrel Scam narrative that the cannibalization of public funds allocated to NABCOR occurred only during the time of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and former Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, using an old 2009 Commission on Audit Special Report as documentary reference.

Guevarra stressed that the plunder complaint he filed against incumbent Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala was almost entirely based on a COA Special Audit Report dated July 2013 and voiced suspicion on the motive behind COA’s belated uploading of said report only on January 4, 2014 in its website – thus withholding the explosive contents of the report from the public which expressed outrage in the streets through the months of August to December last year.

Guevarra raises the specter of a replay of TLRC Chairman Dennis Cunanan’s testimony in the Senate which summed up his agency’s corrupt dealings with members of the opposition, only. Dennis Cunanan is headed towards admission as a provisional state witness despite chief-whistleblower Benhur Luy’s disclosure that Cunanan received Php 980,000 in bribe from Janet Lim Napoles herself.

Guevarra claims that he has knowledge that Dennis Cunanan, a former student leader of the National Union of Students of the Philippines of which Guevarra also once led, demanded and received between 10% to 15% kickbacks from bogus and Napoles-like NGOs for various overpriced and/or ghost “training seminars” which were funded from allocation for “soft projects” of senators and congressmen.

Speaking of Cunanan, Guevarra says. “the guy is a liar, a crook and is an embarrassment to the student movement. Why would he be admitted as a state witness when he should in fact be considered a principal by direct participation in the crime of plunder. Ulol ba siya?”.

Guevarra raises fears that the trajectory of government’s prosecution of those involved in the Pork Barrel Scam will continue to focus solely on members of the opposition and spare administration allies.

“What does Malacanang take the people for, fools? Those who pocketed public funds were KAMPI members, or Kabalikat ng Mandarambong na Pidal, but who had since shifted their allegiance to the LP, or Lovers of Pork. The Scrap Pork Network pushes for the prosecution of all those involved in the Pork Barrel Scam regardless of political or institutional affiliation and will not be satisfied by selective media flogging of Tanda, Sexy and Pogi when there are many aliases left for some 70 percent incumbent members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate of the Philippines who malversed public funds whether they came in the form of PDAF or DAP”.

Guevarra urged Senate Blue Ribbon Chairman Sen. TG Guingona to conduct at the soonest, a separate investigation of corruption in NABCOR. According to Guevarra, “if only Sen. Guingona would read the latest COA Special Audit Report and use it as primary reference in a senate inquiry called solely for that purpose, he would be able to compel the production of receipts and documents detailing the names of senators, congressmen, department and local government officials and members of media who were recipients of disbursements from NABCOR in the form of bribes, payolas or kickbacks and thereby blow the lid wide open on the Pork Barrel Scam.”

Guevarra challenged Sen. Guingona “to let the chips fall where they may” as the lawyer disclosed his moral certainty that “ a stagerring Php 5.7 billion pesos of NABCOR disbursementsby from 2012 to 2013 was used by Malacanang as an election slush fund and utilized to ‘pump-prime’ the candidacies of Malacanang favorites in the national and local elections.

 

Reference: Argee Guevarra

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