By NEILWIN JOSEPH L. BRAVO
• ‘Not a centavo is lost’- Sid
• Claims he does not know Napoles personally
• Confirms funds was turned over and duly received
Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro T. Ungab became the latest legislator whose name is linked to the so-called “Pork Barrel Scam.” Just as quickly, he dismissed the reports as false insisting that his “pork” is scam-free. In an earlier statement to national media Ungab the money is not part of his PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund)
In a statement texted to Edge Davao, entitled “Statement of Cong. Isidro Ungab re: SARO No.G-11-01589 July 30,” Rep. Ungab said “This project, which my office supported for and on behalf of my constituent-farmers in the 3rd District of Davao, coursed through, budgeted and implemented by the Department of Agriculture Office of the Secretary, is legitimate, valid and above board. The project was authenticated and went through the legal and proper procedure as practiced by the House of Representatives, Commission on Audit and Department of Agriculture (implementing agency). We have the best intentions and acted in good faith in granting the said project for the benefit of our constituent-farmers, trusting fully in the competence and capability of the implementing agency, the Department of Agriculture Office of the Secretary. My office always ensures that all the projects we undertake are fully implemented and executed, as in this case, we were in close coordination with the DA when each phase of the project (such as delivery of materials; inspection of the said materials and distribution) was being executed. More importantly, the appropriation was fully liquidated, documented by the DA as the implementing agency, and the project was fully implemented and delivered to its intended and actual beneficiaries. I personally attended the distribution of the farming implements and materials to the actual beneficiaries. I was there during the implementation. I personally distributed the farming implements/supplies to the identified beneficiaries of this project.”
“Everything is in order. The money was transferred, the Commission on Audit approved it, and the Department of Agriculture also approved it,” Ungab said.
Reports surfaced the other day that Rep. Ungab, a member of the ruling Liberal Party and now the chairman of the powerful Committee on Appropriations, used P5 million of his pork barrel funds to implement livelihood projects for his constituents. The said amount reportedly went to Kaupdan para sa Mangunguma Foundation which was reported to be among 20 bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) allegedly created by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
On Tuesday, Rep. Ungab told the ABS-CBN News website that he is unsure if he gave funds to an allegedly fake NGO controlled by Napoles.
Ungab denied the NGO is bogus. “It’s an accredited NGO by the Department of Agriculture,” he told this paper.
The ABS-CBN News online reported that Rep. Ungab has asked his staff to check on a newspaper report linking him to Napoles. A whistle-blower said the money went to Kaupdan para sa Mangunguma Foundation, which is one of 20 bogus NGOs allegedly created by Napoles.
“Actually po may mga pumupunta sa atin sa office pero hindi ko po alam yung NGO na yun is part of that na sinasabi ngayon na Napoles group,” Ungab said in an earlier radio interview with DZMM.
Ungab said he had no idea if any of his priority development assistance fund went to a bogus NGO.
“Sa totoo lang, I acted all in good faith. I had no idea. Ngayon ko lang nalaman na ganun pala.”
“Pina-pa-check ko pa ho sa aking mga staff. Wala daw hong sumasagot. I will get all the documents sa Department of Agriculture to check ko yun lahat.”
Ungab said he does not know Napoles personally or even a certain Willie Ang, which was identified in the Inquirer report as the coordinator for a project to cultivate high-value crops.
The same Inquirer report said Ang was a gardener in Napoles’ mansion at Forbes Park village in Makati City.
Ungab said anyone can check the records of the Commission on Audit and the Department of Agriculture to see how his projects were implemented.
“Nai-deliver po and they can check the records with COA and DA at kahit isa-isahin nila yung mag recipients kung nakatanggap, nakatanggap po talaga. I was present nung inamimigay yung assistance sa farmers,” he said.
“I am very sure, one thing sure na sinusundan ko kaya na na-implement ang aking projects. That’s what I did with all my projects. I made sure na implemented po lahat. Wala po akong ghost delivery, ghost projects. Wala,” he added. With a report from ABS-CBN News.