Agriculture Sec faces plunder raps

By , on June 26, 2014

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala with a local. Photo courtesy of Alcala's Facebook page.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala with a local. Photo courtesy of Alcala’s Facebook page.

MANILA — Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala is now facing plunder and graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman filed by an umbrella organization of youth and student groups.

The case is in connection with Alcala’s alleged involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

Alcala was accused of giving the alleged pork scam mastermind, Janet Lim Napoles a total of P36.025 million during his time as Quezon province congressman and P39 million  during his post as the Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary.

“On page 54 of the said report, the COA reported that 41 suppliers with purported transactions amounting to P352.136 million with 17 NGOs out of funds transferred by five implementing agencies denied their involvement and participation in the projects,” reads a statement in the 13-page complaint filed by Youth Act Now (YAN).

“Among the transactions denied by the suppliers were those coming from the PDAF of then congressman Proceso Alcala of the 2nd District of Quezon who, together with other legislators, transferred funds to the Economic and Social Cooperation for Local Development Foundation Inc. amounting to P36.025 million,” it added.

The group also added that the money involved was coming from funds under the Organic Agricultural Program which Napoles’ NGOs also handled for San Antonio, Nueva Ecija; Umingan, Pangasinan; and the municipalities of Madrid, Hinatuan, Tago and Cantillan in Surigao del Sur.

Meanwhile, spokesman of DA, Emerson Palad said they are still waiting for a copy of the said complaints but they are ready to face and answer the charges.