Jo Christine & James Napoles Accomplices in Pork Barrel Fraud?
At last, the long arm of the law is finally waving its weak limbs about. I thought for a moment it was ailing with paralysis.
Allegedly James Christoper “Butsoy” Napoles and Jo Christine “Neneng” Napoles have been implicated with the Pork Barrel scandal right up to their greedy little necks and they are about to be issued warrants of arrest and to answer for their part in the wanton thievery and plunder of the monies belonging to the Philippine nation.
It is alleged that Neneng and Butsoy were willing participants in siphoning off aid funds meant for the cash-strapped farmers of Malampaya, a farming community which was a victim of one typhoon disaster after another and another….
The Government did put aside and eventually approved and released the monies amounting to P900,000,000. Not a cent went to the deserving and destitute farmers. Instead, the cash was shared between fake Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and corrupt Government officials and workers via Janet Lim-Napoles machinations through the JLN (hmm what do the initials stand for;)) group of fake companies. Check out the JLN website. Maybe the company should be renamed JGMMS – ‘Just Give Me Money, Suckers’ 🙂
Neneng and Butsoy were not only busy falsifying documents and forging signatures on cheques, they were also officially employed as Vice President for admin and finance and Vice President for operations at JLN office at Discovery Centre in Pasig City.
Neneng and Butsoy should be charged with treason, plunder, forgery, etc for their role of being accessories, collaborators and co-conspirators to the crime and should be arrested and jailed with immediate effect.
Hmm maybe we world-weary and fed up Filipinos will see these two elevated to high office as seems to happens to those who can be ‘creative’ with accounting of public allocated funds ;).
ARE NENENG AND BUTSOY THE FUTURE SENATORS OF THE PHILIPPINES? WE WILL NOT BE TOO SURPRISED IF THEY DO END UP RUNNING THE GOVERNMENT!
How the mighty have fallen. The Princess is allegedly a common money laundering accessory.
It is also alleged that her husband plundered millions of euros in charitable donations to a company that he runs.
It is similar to Philippine PDAF (pork barrel scandal)!
It makes one wonder if the Filipinos inherited this corruption gene from their former Spanish overlords. 😉 LOL
Anyway Cristina is now a prinsesa labandera; Princesa de Lavado de Dinero, a title that certainly would bring shame to her family, especially to her ailing father, King Juan Carlos of Spain.
Because of this shameful event, King Juan Carlos might have to abdicate in favour of his son, Felipe.
JPJhermes, on Patrol
Spanish princess Infanta Cristina summoned over fraud
The Infanta Cristina is seen here at a Mass in Madrid in June 2013
A Spanish judge has summoned the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos to appear in court over accusations of fraud and money-laundering.
The Infanta Cristina, 48, has been linked to the business affairs of her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, who is being investigated for alleged embezzlement.
The princess is now a formal suspect and should appear in court on 8 March.
Tom BurridgeBBC News, Madrid
Throughout this long-running, and very public scandal, Spain’s royal household has always tried to draw a line between direct members of the royal family and the scandal surrounding the king’s son-in-law, Cristina’s husband. That will now be a lot more difficult.
The princess did not have to appear last year in court because state lawyers appealed against the summons, and the regional court of Mallorca, which is managing the case, judged that the evidence linking Cristina to her husband’s business dealings was insufficient. However preventing her appearance for a second time could prove much harder.
The year has not started well for King Juan Carlos. An opinion poll on Sunday suggested that 62% of Spaniards would like to see him abdicate, and the following day his advanced age and ill-health showed as he struggled to make a speech at an annual military event.
It is believed to be the first time a direct relative of the king will appear in court accused of wrongdoing.
Palma de Mallorca court judge Jose Castro ordered the princess to appear for questioning about her partnership with Mr Urdangarin in a firm called Aizoon.
Last year, properties belonging to her husband were impounded after allegations that Mr Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma, misused millions of euros in public funds given to a charitable foundation he ran.
The duke denied wrongdoing and was not charged with any crime.
One of the properties impounded is a large luxury house on the outskirts of Barcelona belonging to the duke and the princess, who currently lives in the Swiss city of Geneva.
The Infanta Cristina is the king’s middle child. She has an elder sister, Infanta Elena, and a younger brother, Crown Prince Felipe, the heir apparent.
‘Spaniards relieved’Judge Castro issued the summons despite objections from the anti-corruption prosecutor in the Balearic Islands, Pedro Horrach, who said he saw no evidence linking the princess to her husband’s alleged wrongdoing, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reports.
When Judge Castro first tried to summon the princess last April, the bid was blocked by the provincial court in Palma de Mallorca.
Inaki Urdangarin is seen here attending a court hearing in 2012
On that occasion, she would have been questioned over the non-profit Noos Institute, which her husband had headed. The charitable foundation had received millions of euros in public funds, which were then allegedly embezzled.
The new court summons relates to Aizoon, a company which investigators suspect served as a front for laundering the embezzled funds.
The events are alleged to have happened between 2004 and 2006, when the duke stepped down as head of Noos.
Spanish journalist Miguel Anxo Murado told BBC World Service there was a sense of satisfaction among Spaniards at the way the case was being handled.
“Most people will tell you that they felt more relieved than shocked and this includes even people who are sympathetic to the royal family,” he said.
“And this is because we had come to the point at which the issue was no longer whether the princess was guilty of anything but actually whether justice is the same for everybody in Spain. And this will probably calm things down a little bit. Whether it will be sufficient for many people in this environment of economic crisis, well that remains to be seen.”
‘Maximum respect’Responding to Tuesday’s announcement, the royal household said it had “maximum respect for judicial decisions”.
King Juan Carlos (left) is seen here with Crown Prince Felipe and Queen Sofia on Monday
News that the princess is now a formal suspect comes amid a decline in popularity for the Spanish king, 76, whose image was dented by a luxury elephant-hunting trip he made to Africa in 2012.
On Monday, he presided over a military parade on crutches at Madrid’s royal palace, having recently undergone hip replacement surgery.
An opinion poll published on Sunday suggested that 62% of Spaniards wanted him to abdicate and fewer than half supported the monarchy in general.
However, the same Sigma Dos poll for El Mundo newspaper also indicated that a majority supported Crown Prince Felipe and believed he could restore the family’s prestige.
Juan Carlos became king in 1975, when he oversaw the country’s transition from dictatorship under the late Gen Francisco Franco to democracy.
It was such a lovely surprise and a proud moment for GlobalGranary.org to note that we were referenced in the recent Supreme Court ruling on Pork Barrel/PDAF scam.
We are pleased that some action has been initiated by the Supreme Court but we will continue to pursue further action that needed doing i.e. bringing the culprits to book and recovery of the monies by continually reminding people that this scam can’t just be filed and forgotten.
Below is a PDF of the Supreme Court ruling but for your convinience we are also attaching the first 3 pages of the Supreme Court documents. I think there are 70+ pages in all.
SUPREME COURT CASE ON PDAF – Scribd
20 hours ago – Online: Something for Everyone, August 19, 2013. what- is-a-pork-barrel/#.UmnhFNavcw >(visited October 17, 2013).
Below is a very interesting article from Perry Diaz of PerryScope at GlobalBalita.
It tells of PNoy’s off the radar personal control of trillion of funds which he authorised and can dispose off anyway he wants without come back of censures from any agency of the Government. The fund is a smack of totalitarianism. 😉
Without an in force freedom of information (FOI), we, the public, cannot know what he intends to spend the monies on. He could be giving these to his kins and cronies, who plotted, cajoled and prodded to put him in power? He could be planning to make a lasting legacy of his family by creating a supedooper monument which could be a monumental mistake as we are now finding out that Ninoy Sr legacy starts and ends with the renaming of the Manila International Airport. Ninoy’s death looks like to end in vain, and sadly by his very own son’s making!!! 🙁
Perhaps it was the wrong Aquinos who have been in the presidential seat. Probably the right one is in our faces all along. Perhaps she is the one……..
If there is one trait that has remained the bedrock of colonial mentality long after Spain soldLas Islas Filipinas to Uncle Sam for $20 million over a century ago, it is the time-tested “padrino system” that we inherited from the Spanish colonizers. It is ingrained in the Filipino psyche affecting his way of life including the way he deals with others.
Indeed, in today’s Filipino body politic, business and politics are so intertwined in our lives that you cannot do business without politics and vice versa. We conclude a business transaction if it is good politics and we seal a political alliance if it is good business.
As someone once said, “In America the people get rich to enter politics; in the Philippines people enter politics to get rich.” And the way – only way! — to getting rich in office is through corruption.
It is not surprising then that corruption seems to be the standard of governance. Government officials are expected – nay, required! – to adhere to an unwritten “code of conduct.” And for those who don’t adhere to this code, the punishment could be as severe as putting to an end their political future and a closure to profitable corrupt practices.
The most profitable source of ill-gotten wealth among the elected members of Congress is the pork barrel system. In the guise of helping their poor constituents and improving the infrastructure of their congressional districts, pork barrel allocations — or what is known officially as Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) – are released to projects identified and endorsed by the lawmakers receiving the pork barrel allocations.
The beauty of PDAF is that it was designed to release pork barrel funds directly to the vendor or provider of goods through certified and legitimately operating non-government organizations (NGOs) who serve as the implementing agencies. These NGOs are non-profit entities. They are responsible for ensuring that the pork barrel funds are used according to plan. The endorsing lawmakers are not supposed to receive any compensation for their endorsement. In essence, pork barrel funds are exclusively for the benefit of the people.
Pork barrel scam
(Better days: Janet Lim-Napoles and President Aquino)
But as it turns out, large chunks of the pork barrel funds disbursed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) under the Office of the President did not go where they were intended to but went to the pockets of the endorsing lawmakers through a scam operated by Janet Lim-Napoles. This netted her P10 billion in the past 10 years. But the lion’s share went to the lawmakers who were alleged to have received kickbacks amounting from 50% to 70% of the funds diverted from the PDAF.
(Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.)
However, this could just be the tip of the iceberg. Ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) has produced evidence of massive corruption involving a large number of lawmakers. The first batch of lawmakers charged with plunder and malversation of public funds were Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. But more charges will be filed against other lawmakers and government officials. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima announced that the DOJ is working on the second and third batches of lawmakers to be brought to court.
(Late President Cory Aquino and son President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III)
Never in the history of the Philippines had these many lawmakers and government officials involved in raiding the PDAF since it was created under another name during the time of the late president Cory Aquino, President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III’s mother.
In 1989 Cory created the Mindanao Development Fund (MDF) and the Visayas Development Fund (VDF), with an appropriation of P480 million and P240 million, respectively. In 1990, the MDF and VDF were combined and expanded nationwide as the Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) with an appropriation of P2.3 billion. In 2000, the CDF was renamed “PDAF.”
Since then, the PDAF has taken a quantum leap under P-Noy’s administration. DBM records show that in 2010, Gloria’s last budget year, PDAF was P6.9 billion. The following year, with P-Noy having full control of the budget, he could have pared down the PDAF allocations. But instead, PDAF allocations increased substantially. In 2011, PDAF more than tripled from 2010’s P6.9 billion to P22.3 billion! In 2012, it was increased to P24.89 billion. It was for the same amount in 2013. But in 2014, PDAF increased to a record P27 billion; however, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping further releases of PDAF allocations and the President’s Social Fund (PSF). Also covered in the TRO are releases from the Malampaya Fund. The TRO was in response to three citizens’ petitions that asked the court to declare as unconstitutional the lump sum allocations under the PDAF and the PSF, and the misuse of the Malampaya Fund.
“Pork Barrel King”
The PDAF is peanuts compared to the presidential discretionary fund, which has grown to P1.3 trillion in 2014. Many constitutionalists claim that this humongous fund is in all appearances a pork barrel. However, amidst a growing public outcry against the presidential pork barrel, P-Noy – dubbed “Pork Barrel King” — has bullheadedly insisted that it is not pork barrel.
But nothing is more offensive than P-Noy’s newly crafted Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), a new pork barrel program that was created without congressional authority. DAP was designed to use “savings” from budgeted items, which was legal only if the savings were realized from under-spent budgeted programs or projects at the end of a fiscal year. Legal experts opined that it becomes constitutionally illegal when “savings” result from arbitrarily ending or under-spending a program or project before the fiscal year ended. It’s interesting to note that DAP is created, controlled, and disbursed exclusively by the President. And the kicker is: it’s unaudited!
Indeed, P-Noy has pulled off a coup d’etat against Congress, which effectively grabbed the “power of the purse” from the lawmakers thus making P-Noy a “fiscal dictator” with absolute authority over a large amount of the people’s money.
Interestingly, the DAP in 2012 accumulated about P700 billion for P-Noy to use any which way he wants. Now that is absolute power, which reminds us of Lord Acton’s famous mantra that he expressed in 1887: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
“The buck stops here”
Finger-pointing (Credit: Bulatlat)
In the final analysis, one of the causes of the pork barrel scandal was P-Noy’s DAP, which is given to lawmakers at the sole discretion of P-Noy and without the requisite checks and balances to prevent corruption at the highest levels of government. By not putting them in place, P-Noy must be held responsible for the corruption in his administration.
The late U.S. President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that says, “The buck stops here.” This saying was derived from the expression “pass the buck.” It means passing responsibility on to someone else when something goes wrong, which is what P-Noy does all the time.
Recently, P-Noy addressed the people on national television and declared: “I am not a thief!” I believe him. He said that the thieves are the lawmakers who stole from their pork barrel allocations. Yes, these are the thieves who benefitted from P-Noy’s generosity. That makes P-Noy the godfather of thieves, the “Gran padrino de los ladrones.”
It seems to me that PNoy has forgotten who he works for. Filipinos are screaming to end the majorly scandalous and heavily abused pork barrel (PDAF) but he seems deaf to all the pleas. PNoy is dragging his feet, obviously heavily held on to by his cohorts in both the Upper and Lower courts of Congress.
PNoy, be the President that you were lucky enough to be accoladed by the Filipino voters.
I think PNoy should present the list of donors to his election campaign. We would know then who were those people PNoy owes something. I bet they all hold governmental positions now or using the Government for their own self interests. What a corruption!!!
The Philippine Supreme Court, in a move that caught administration officials by surprise, issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) last September 10 stopping further releases of funds from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the President’s Social Fund (PSF). Also covered in the TRO are releases from the Malampaya Fund, which President Benigno Aquino III had used in projects that had nothing to do with “financing energy resource development and exploitation programs and projects of the government” as required by law.
The TRO was in response to three citizens’ petitions that asked the court to declare as unconstitutional the lump sum allocations under the PDAF and the PSF, and the misuse of the Malampaya Fund. The petitioners are former senatorial candidates Greco Belgica and Samson Alcantara, and former Marinduque Board Member Pedrito Nepomuceno.
The respondents include Executive Secretary Paquito “Jojo” Ochoa, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, Senate President Franklin Drilon, and House of Representatives Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.
Mockery of the Constitution
In his petition, Alcantara said: “The pork barrel system allows the perversion of taxation by providing opportunities for the members thereof to gorge themselves in funds collected pursuant to tax legislation they have enacted purportedly for the public good.”
He called the pork barrel system a “mockery” of the constitutional mandate on “accountability, honesty and integrity of public officers.” He said that the President could end up “controlling” the lawmakers because the system allowed him to release or withhold the funds, which is in violation of the constitutional separation of powers.
It’s interesting to note that while the respondents indicated that they would comply with the TRO, Speaker Belmonte raised an issue. “To abolish it 100 percent, to reform it, to do anything with it, it is my position that it’s a political question which under our system of government belongs to Congress,” he told the media.
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio
But Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio seems to support the petitioners’ arguments. During the hearing for the oral arguments on the petitions last October 8, he said that the PDAF “on its face is unconstitutional” because the President cannot share the power to utilize public funds with the legislative branch. He said that the power to utilize public funds lies solely with the President; therefore, any power-sharing is unconstitutional. He said that the PDAF is “riddled with unconstitutionality.”
Carpio also said that while the Constitution allowed the President to realign savings, he couldn’t delegate that authority to Cabinet secretaries.
Carpio also said that another unconstitutional provision is the power given to Congress to concur with the realignment of funds, and the privilege given to lawmakers to identify their projects. He said that these provisions circumvent the “power of the President to veto.” “It violates the right of the President to veto projects. It destroys the check and balance when it comes to the executive and legislative branches of government,” he said.
There is a groundswell of support for the abolition of the pork barrel system, which many believe is the source of massive corruption. Indeed, a citizens’ movement for the abolition of the pork barrel system is spreading like wildfire.
An EDSA “people power” revolution might be welcome to the suffering poor. However, oligarchic forces – like those behind EDSA 1 and EDSA 2 — usually lead this kind of revolution, which is actually anti-revolutionary intended to preserve the oligarchy, albeit with a new set of players. But the people are now tired of “people power” revolutions where “change” is nothing more than re-invented slogans and recycled trapos (traditional politicians).
It is therefore in this context that a “judicial interference” is, imperatively, the only instrument for real change. This is because the executive and legislative branches of government have abdicated from their core responsibility of implementing laws that are consistent with not only the letter of the law but, more importantly, the spirit of the law. And what a better time to do it than now!
Speaker Belmonte can continue to argue that the abolition of pork barrel is the prerogative of Congress and that the Supreme Court should stay out of congressional business. But how can the high magistracy of the land stay out of it when there are – right now! — three valid petitions filed before it? Simply put, the Supreme Court may not have any alternative but to rule on the constitutionality of the pork barrel system. After all, its job – and solemn duty – is to make sure that any law enacted by Congress, if challenged, must be within the purview of the Constitution.
To avoid the death knell for the pork barrel system, Congress must act to reform it and to institute controls to prevent anyone – particularly the lawmakers – from raiding the people’s treasury. But wouldn’t this be akin to the Mafia policing itself to prevent the Mafiosi from committing crimes? For this reason, the only branch of government that can institute real reforms to the pork barrel system and avoid its abolition is the Judiciary.
In reforming the pork barrel system, the high court should be cognizant that lawmakers thrive on pork barrel. Indeed, pork barrel is to Philippine lawmakers as ambrosia was to the Greek gods. It’s their food. Deprive them of their food and they’d wither away.
It would not then come as a surprise if the members of Congress – with collaboration from the executive branch – were to lobby the 15 justices of the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of pork barrel. It is a fight not only for their livelihood but also to save their political lives. In other words, it’s all about self-preservation.
DBM Secretary Florencio Abad and President Benigno Aquino
President Aquino is now at the crossroads of his presidency. Would he heed the wishes of his “boss,” the people, or would he pander to the corrupt political establishment? It shouldn’t be a hard choice to make; however, there were times when “political expediency” had taken precedence over good governance. And by the looks of it, Aquino seems like he is bent on maintaining the status quo, with some “reforms” to keep everybody happy… except the people.
Last October 14, the House of Representatives announced that the P27-billion PDAF would be scrapped from the proposed P2.268-trillion national budget for 2014. But the PDAF and PSF (President’s Social Fund) are just small portions of the President’s P450-billion Special Purpose Funds (SPF). If you add the SPF, the Unprogrammed Funds, and the Funds Under the President’s Control, you’re looking at a huge pork barrel totaling P1.33 trillion! Does it seem like Aquino’s allies in the House are sacrificing the tiny PDAF to preserve the obscenely humongous presidential pork barrel? However, Malacañang insists that these are not pork barrel. What is it then?
Ultimately, the people will be the final arbiter, which brings to mind the question: Is the end of pork barrel near or is it here to stay? A wise man once said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Yes, indeed.