TAGBILARAN CITY – Where have all the Malampaya special funds intended for Bohol gone? This question refuses to die down even as some concerned Boholanos are still curious about this since officials concerned of the town-beneficiaries have denied they received the said funds. Bohol is not spared from alleged anomalies over congressmen and senators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or commonly “pork barrel” that allegedly went to fake Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) created by Janet Lim Napoles, allegedly the brain of the scam.
This came on the heels of planned investigation into the Malamapaya funds that allegedly remained unaccounted for, as reported by Commission on Audit (COA). The municipalities Garcia-Hernandez, Pilar, Loboc, Jagna and Maribojoc are said to be the beneficiaries of the Malampaya oil funds at PhP5 million apiece, COA report said. The funds were released through the following non-government organizations (NGOs) “Kaupdanan,” “Micro-Agri” and “Ginto,” for Garcia-Hernandez, Pilar and Loboc, respectively, on January 26, 2010. Jagna and Maribojoc’s shares from Malampaya funds were released through “Micro Agri” and “Bukirin Tanglaw,” also said to be NGOs, respectively, on May 18, 2010.
The COA report, however, did not mention where these NGOs are based and who are their officers. The funds were sourced out from the “Malampaya Fund to JLN Foundations” allegedly owned and managed by JLN during the period November 2009 to May 2010, the COA report said. “The Malampaya Fund represents royalties that the national government collects from the Malampaya gas project in Palawan. It is primarily meant for energy-related projects, but it could also be used for other purposes approved by the President, including assistance to agrarian reform beneficiaries,” reports said.
It will be recalled that only two of the five municipal mayors (3 ex-mayors) have so far expressed willingness to face the investigation on the Malamapaya Oil Funds. Earlier, Mayor Leoncio Evasco sa Maribojoc, one of the five towns allegedly received fund from Malampaya fund, said he is willing to face the probe.
Jagna ex-mayor Exuperio Lloren also expressed the same opinion, saying if invited, he will cooperate with the agencies concerned “to clear his name.” “Sure I will. It’s an opportunity to clear my name,” he said.
Organizers of the multi-sectoral group here actively continue to make noise about the pork barrel abolition and even demanded the total scrapping of said funds. Recently, a prayer march rally was staged for the same purpose.
Meanwhile, seven (7) out of 10 or 73% of Boholanos believed that “pork barrel scam” or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) anomaly has taken place and their PDAF awareness is high at 79%, according to Bohol Poll 2014.
The percentage (73%) awareness level of the Boholanos on PDAF is an offshoot of the following question: “Adunay anomaliya nga nahitabo sa paggamit sa pork barrel kon PDAF diin ang pundo gipaagi sa mga dili lehitimo nga NGOs o non-government organizations.”
Under the awareness level of the PDAF, 90% of the Boholanos is recorded in 3rd district of the province but low in 2nd district with 67%. Tagbilaran City had awareness level of 84%; and 1st district, 77%.