Sunday, September 18, 2011

Drilon calls for investigation over P7.5-B Arroyo farm to market funds

MANILA, September 19, 2011-Senator Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee bats for the Senate investigation of the P7.5 billion farm-to-market roads fund released by the Arroyo administration last May 2010 elections even without actual programs of work.

“Before former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stepped down from office, the funds were released by the Department of Agriculture from January to June last year,” Drilon said.

Drilon revealed that they are now gathering prima facie evidence about the probe funds where these farm-to-market roads were released before the change of the administration adding that a similar scheme such as the P729.48 million in fertilizer funds which were diverted for the 2004 presidential campaign of GMA who is now a Pampanga representative.

Drilon said that the actual releases of the P7.5 billion fund were done in just six months and that’s the reason why the senator questioned how the department of agriculture then headed by former Secretary Arthur Yap was able to disburse such amount.

“The former officials in the Department of Agriculture are rather efficient in utilization of funds,” Drilon said, who also chair the Senate Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures, which came through with the alleged irregularity in the project.

“We are determining if the funds went to ‘farm-to-pocket roads’, ‘roads to my farm’ or nothing has happened at all,” Drilon said.

Drilon said that they are currently looking about the liability of officials involved and do not want to come to any early conclusion, saying that they are on the process of verifying pertinent documents related to the project as to where the projects are located. (Jason de Asis)

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