Press Release
July 15, 2013

Re: Series of news articles on the alleged PDAF scam involving Ms. Janet Lim Napoles
(Philippine Daily Inquirer July 12, 13, 14 and 15, 2013)

I SUBMIT MYSELF TO A FULL INVESTIGATION OF ALL MY PDAF ALLOCATIONS In the light of the series of news items published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer involving a "P10 Billion scam" and a certain Ms. Janet Lim Napoles, citing me as having allocated a total of P641.65 Million over several years (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009), I reiterate the call I had previously made for the Commission on Audit to release the full report of its Special Audit of the PDAF of all legislators in order to help the Department of Justice and the NBI in its current probe. The series of articles repeatedly allege that the PDAF allocations procured by Ms. Napoles from legislators for "ghost projects" and channeled to bogus foundations/NGO's are split between Ms. Napoles and the legislators concerned.

Thus, from the bare allegations and claims of the affiants and the release documents provided, we now stand accused, tried and judged in the media and before the public of having pocketed public funds.

Yet, we have not been given any opportunity at all by any official agency of the government to defend ourselves against these allegations in any manner consistent with justice and due process. I categorically state that:

1. I do not know Ms. Janet Lim Napoles, nor have I had any personal or business transactions with her or her company;

2. I have not received any bribe or in any way financially benefited from nor in exchange for the utilization of my PDAF, whether they be the agricultural or livelihood assistance being mentioned in favor of various LGU's or allegedly bogus NGO's or foundations throughout my several terms as a legislator;

3. All the fund releases from mine and other legislators' PDAF's and infrastructure projects are of public record. The Special Allotment Release Orders (SARO's) or releases being cited, with myself and other legislators being singled out in the affidavits of supposed "whistle-blowers" are made public by the DBM and are obviously selective and incomplete.

4. My office has consistently abided by ALL DBM ISSUANCES AND GUIDELINES, old and new, regarding all requirements for projects to be qualified for PDAF and infrastructure funding. Under the previous and present administrations, these guidelines have been revised many times in order to limit and tighten the controls on the use of the PDAF or the CDF as it used to be called.


I stand by the entire record of how I had directed the distribution and utilization of funds made available to us as legislators TO IDENTIFY PROJECTS TO BE FUNDED BY THE GOVERNMENT to address the voluminous requests I receive from various LGU's, national agencies and institutions, and our public constituents requesting for funding assistance.

Previous COA Report; "Pangkabuhayan Foundation, Inc."

The recent PDI series of articles bears resemblance and in fact refer to the earlier subject of its February 28, 2013 article entitled "COA: Senators' pork went to bogus NGO" and sub-titled "JPE, Estrada, Revilla tied to 195-M scam".

That earlier article, allegedly based on a COA report, said that "The PDAF, a pork barrel that funds pet projects of members of Congress, is a known source of kickbacks for lawmakers."

Hence, it is not the first time that my name and the names of Senators Estrada and Revilla had been dragged and singled out as being involved in PDAF "scams" such as what is now headline news.

The news item stated then that the funds in the total amount of P74.69M I had allocated for agricultural and livelihood projects out of my 2008 and 2009 PDAF were released to the Department of Agriculture, which in turn, released the money to a government corporation called Zynac Rubber Estate Corporation (ZREC); ZREC then released the funds to the questioned foundation called Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc. (PFI).

The article further stated that the "COA report reiterated its previous recommendation to ZREC to require PFI to refund P162 million "due to fabricated documents and forged signatures" it submitted for the liquidation of funds received from ZREC."

The documents earlier sent by COA to my office supposedly for verification purposes contained "liquidation" reports and documents signed by a certain Petronila A. Balmaceda as President of PFI, and at the bottom were indeed FORGED signatures of my staff members, obviously meant to create the impression that my office was involved with the foundation.

This prompted me all the more to support the call for a full investigation. Sadly, the issue was soon drowned by the last political campaign.

I recently learned that another person by the name of MS. GAY TAN, who is likewise a total stranger to me, was involved in Pangkabuhayan Foundation, Inc.

COA Special Audit

To further shed light on the matter, I had earlier related to the media the request of Speaker Belmonte, Congressmen Bem Noel and Neptali Gonzales, Jr. last year (2012) for me to arrange a meeting with COA Chairman Grace Pulido Tan who hails from my province, Cagayan. As it turned out, the requested meeting was due to their concern that some congressmen were being singled out in the said special audit.

Chairman Tan acceded and met us at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel and confirmed that the COA was conducting a "special audit" of the PDAF. But she clarified, in answer to Cong. Gonzales' concern, that the special audit was not directed at the lawmakers but at the implementing agencies. I said that for my part, I understood it was a job COA must do and I personally had no worries about the utilization of my own PDAF being scrutinized by the COA.

While Chairman Tan last year said they had yet to finalize the report, and that upon finishing it, she would let the Speaker and myself know so we may inform the members of both Chambers, until today, the COA has yet to make a FULL DISCLOSURE of its findings.

In aid of the current investigation being conducted by the DOJ and the NBI on the alleged scam involving Ms. Napoles, in the interest of transparency, and to bring to justice ALL PARTIES, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, who, with their illegal machinations, may have financially benefited from the PDAF funds which are meant to help our constituents, I reiterate my call to the Commission on Audit to disclose its findings and the parameters and the scope of its audit.

THE COA MUST OFFICIALLY RELEASE ITS FINDINGS IN FULL AND WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR, if it were to perform its Constitutional duty, lest it be accused of allowing the piece-meal or selective disclosure of parts of its report to serve political or partisan ends.

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