Plunder raps filed vs Aquino, others-A A +A
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
A MILITANT farmers group on Tuesday filed plunder charges against President Benigno Aquino III and several members of his Cabinet before the Office of the Ombudsman on the alleged plunder of P125 million from the Malampaya Gas Funds.
Aside from Aquino, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) also filed similar case against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes, Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the pork barrel fund scam, and nine others.
"This plunder complaint will show that under the Aquino regime, the DAR is not only a conduit of big landlords, like the Cojuangcos, in strengthening their control over vast haciendas but a conduit in plundering the nation’s coffers," KMP chairperson Rafael Mariano said.
The Conjuancos are the President's maternal relatives.
The group said the fund supposedly for the energy development was collected by the fake non-government organizations (NGOs), which had links to Napoles, from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
"They have released the Malampaya Funds for projects or purposes not in accord with the law," he said.
The group added that being the President, Aquino should know that the Malampaya fund is meant for energy-related projects and giving approval to such project with no way is engaged in the energy development is a clear evidence of the conspiracy between the bogus NGOs and government officials.
Citing that the Agrarian Reform Secretary Delos Reyes has approved several Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) for the implementation of projects submitted and proposed to his office by fake NGOs, which caused sacking of public funds, the KMP urged the Ombudsman to investigate or conduct an independent investigation for the alleged offenses of the President and his several Cabinet members.
Other non-existent projects by the alleged bogus NGOs funded by P125 million Malampaya Funds were the Organic Farming through the use of Vermi-Composting by WorkPhil Foundation and Samahan Magsasaka sa Kapatagan, the Backyard Agri Economic Scheme by Karangyaan Para sa Magbubukid Foundation, Rural Farming Reform System by Social Development Program Farmers Foundation of Benhur Luy, Farming Output Improvement Project by the Kaupadanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation by John Raymond De Asis.
"Allocating hundreds of millions for red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms is not only preposterous but revolting. Obviously, Aquino and his political lieutenants colluded with fake NGOs to deliberately plunder the Malampaya Funds," Mariano said.
The complaint said projects DAR entered into with the alleged fake NGOs were not energy-related and those projects were not implemented.
KMP said DBM executives Abad and Relampagos knew that Malampaya funds were intended for the exploration, development, and utilization but they authorized the release of such funds for the anomalous projects.
"Had the DBM, which has the primary duty to manage public funds and their disbursement, not been remiss in its duty of monitoring the disbursement, then the scam with its magnitude could not have transpired. Thus, those DBM officials are principal by indispensable cooperation to the offenses hereto charged," the complaint said.
The farmers group said the government is taking advantage of their miserable situation as a justification for releasing public funds.
The KMP asked the Ombudsman to immediately place the respondents under preventive suspension, saying the charges against them constitute grave criminal offenses involving graft and corruption and for grave and serious misconduct, which would warrant dismissal from service.
Meanwhile, the KMP said they will conduct a nationwide protest on January 22 to commemorate the 27th year of the Mendiola massacre. (Sunnex)