'Imbestigador: Bantay Kaban ng Bayan' Airs Investigations of Napoles Scam This Saturday!

Millions upon millions of pesos stacked on top of a bed or tucked away in money bags inside a bath tub. This is how Benhur Luy, whistleblower in the alleged 10B-peso pork barrel scam, described the cash flow that allegedly went to Janet Lim-Napoles, accused of masterminding the controversial scam.

Using connections in government, Napoles and her group allegedly gained billions from the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF, more commonly known as “pork barrel”, through an elaborate ‘kickback’ scheme.

In GMA News and Public Affairs’ special report this Sunday hosted by veteran journalist Mike Enriquez, Bantay Kaban ng Bayan traces the anatomy of the scam. The Bantay Kaban Team goes on-ground—from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao—to physically inspect projects that were funded by the pork barrel and questioned by the Commission on Audit.

In various provinces in Luzon, correspondent Joseph Morong and the team are met with ghost projects and overpriced packages given to beneficiaries. Marginalized residents and farmers cry foul over the undelivered projects which were handled by the questionable NGOs being linked to Napoles.

But among the 82 NGOs questioned by COA, only 8 are being linked to Napoles by her former employees. Bantay Kaban ng Bayan asks: who are behind the 74 other NGOs? The team uncovers at least 450 names behind these dubious NGOs and investigates the persons behind the top ten foundations that received billions in pork barrel. In Cebu, residents’ signatures were faked to make them appear as project beneficiaries.

Aside from the dubious NGOs, the COA Special Audit Report for 2007-2009 also questioned infrastructure projects funded by the pork barrel. Region V (Bicol Region) was listed as having the highest amount of pork allocations questioned by COA. In Legazpi City, on-ground correspondent Maki Pulido investigates three road projects totalling more than 100 million pesos in cost. Instead of concrete infrastructure, she discovers dirt roads that appear unfinished and unused.

And in Lanao del Sur, buildings worth millions of pesos are not buildings at all—the investigative team arrives and sees only unfinished building posts.

The much talked-about COA Special Audit Report only covers the period of 2007-2009. As more and more records—even from recent years—are examined, it appears that the misuse of pork did not stop in 2009. And while the congressional pork barrel already puts at least 25 billion a year in the hands of lawmakers, the fact is there are trillions worth of special and regular funds disbursed and possibly misused year after year.

We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.

GMA News and Public Affairs’ Bantay Kaban ng Bayan uncovers more this Sunday on IMBESTIGADOR right after Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho.(www.tvseriescraze.blogspot.com)

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