WITH delicadeza just so easily dispensed with, the fourth impeachment complaint against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was junked last week and goes to a plenary vote this Tuesday. But it is unlikely that enough votes will be garnered to overturn the House of Representatives justice committee’s ruling declaring the impeachment complaint void for being insufficient in substance.

For one, there is no indication that the rest of the House will be seized by a belated sense of propriety, if not decency, in much the same way that pro-administration members of the justice committee apparently were not.

Based on the Commission on Audit (COA) report, 14 of the 42 members of the committee were among those listed as actual recipients of fertilizer funds — ranging from P3 million to P5 million — from the anomalous Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) program of the Department of Agriculture in 2004.

Six other committee members took over family members who, at the time of the fund releases, were the sitting representatives of their districts. Only the relatives of two committee members, however, received funds of P3 million each. (see tables)

TABLE 1: HOUSE JUSTICE COMMITTEE MEMBERS WHO WERE ACTUAL RECIPIENTS OF FERTILIZER FUNDS IN 2004
REPRESENTATIVE
DISTRICT
AMOUNT RELEASED
Exequiel Javier (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Antique
5 million
Edgar Chatto (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Bohol
3 million
Eufrocino Codilla Sr. (Lakas-CMD)
4th District, Leyte
5 million
Belma Cabilao (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Zamboanga Sibugay
5 million
Solomon Chungalao (LP)
Lone District, Ifugao
5 million
Munir Arbison (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Sulu
3 million
Roberto Cajes (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Bohol
3 million
Faysah Maniri Racman Dumarpa (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Lanao del Sur
3 million
Munir Arbison (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Sulu
3 million
Victoria Reyes (Lakas-CMD)
3rd District, Batangas
3 million
Arthur Defensor (Lakas-CMD)
3rd District, Iloilo
3 million
Junie Cua (LP)
Lone District, Quirino
3 million
Eduardo Zialcita (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Parañaque
5 million
George Arnaiz (NPC)
2nd District, Negros Oriental
5 million
(released to him as then provincial governor)
Nur Jaafar (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Tawi-Tawi
3 million
(released to daughter Soraya as then district representative)
Janette Garin (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Iloilo
3 million
(released to father-in-law Oscar as then district representative)

Source: COA

Understandably, minority congressmen tried, albeit in vain, to have their colleagues in the majority disqualified, or at the very least inhibit themselves, from voting on the issue of sufficiency in substance of the impeachment complaint, which alleged, among others, the diversion of P728 million in fertilizer funds to Arroyo allies — 103 congressmen, 49 governors, and 26 city and municipal mayors — during the 2004 presidential campaign.

TABLE 2: HOUSE JUSTICE COMMITTEE MEMBERS LISTED AS RECIPIENTS OF FERTILIZER FUNDS IN 2004
REPRESENTATIVE
DISTRICT
AMOUNT PROPOSED
Raul Gonzalez Jr. (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Iloilo City
5 million
(father Raul Sr., then the district representative, named recipient but no actual release made)
Victor Francisco Ortega (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, La Union
5 million
(named recipient as then provincial governor but no actual release made; brother Manuel, then the district representative, also named recipient of P5 million but no actual release made)
Alfredo Marañon III (Kampi)
2nd District, Negros Occidental
5 million
(father Alfredo Jr., then the district representative, named recipient but no actual release made; uncle Joseph Marañon, then provincial governor, also named recipient of P5 million but no actual release made)
Niel Tupas Jr. (LP)
5th District, Iloilo
5 million
(father Neil Sr., then provincial governor, named recipient but no actual release made)

Source: COA

The Senate investigation in 2005 found former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn ‘Joc-Joc’ Bolante, a close confidante of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, to have masterminded the fertilizer funds scam. On the same day the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) for the P728 million in fertilizer funds was released by the budget department, Bolante wrote to various congressmen and local officials to inform them of the availability of funds under the GMA Program.

In its final report on the said funds, the COA likewise noted irregularities, particularly in the circuitous route of the fund releases from the DA central office to the regional offices, and their subsequent transfer to local government units and nongovernmental organizations that resulted in the funds not being fully accounted for even to this day. Some of the NGOs identified by congressmen, governors and mayors as beenficiaries were found to be of dubious legitimacy.

The COA also found out that the fertilizers were grossly overpriced, were purchased from questionable suppliers without public bidding, and did not even reach their intended beneficiaries in at least three regions. The type of fertilizer bought, foliar, was not even among those recommended under the government’s “Tipid Abono” program.

None of these mattered to committee chair Rep. Matias Defensor, whose daughter Maite (then Quezon City 3rd district representative) was in the original list of allocatees appended to the fertilizer funds’ SARO. Denying the minority’s motion, Defensor argued that the committee has no jurisdiction to disqualify any of its members, insisting as well that inhibition should be a voluntary act.

That settled, the plenary voting on the impeachment complaint will therefore be not much different.

Still, it would be worth watching how 60 more administration congressmen, who are linked one way or another to the fertilizer funds scam, would vote. Thirty-six of them were recipients of the said funds, including the current House Speaker, Prospero Nograles, who was reported to have gotten P3 million. Of this number, seven were fund recipients when they were provincial governors.

Seventeen more are relatives — parents, wives, siblings, sons, etc. — of those who received the funds in 2004. (see tables)

At least two incumbent Lakas-CMD lawmakers, Bacolod City Rep. Monico Puentevella and Judy Syjuco of Iloilo’s second district, were linked to NGO beneficiariesMOP Development Foundation and Tawo Kag Duta sa Kauswagan Foundation.

Curiously, MOP Development Foundation shares the Bacolod City congressman’s initials. His wife, Josefa, was also listed as one of its incorporators. Syjuco and her husband, Augusto, her predecessor in the 12th Congress, were also listed as incorporators of the Tawo Kag Duta sa Kauswagan Foundation.

Seven other congressmen also had their names or those of their relatives whom they succeeded in the list of allocatees, though the COA reported no actual fund releases to them.

Alas, to our representatives, delicadeza, like honesty, as Billy Joel sang, is such a lonely word.

TABLE 3: HOUSE MEMBERS WHO WERE ACTUAL RECIPIENTS OF FERTILIZER FUNDS IN 2004
REPRESENTATIVE
DISTRICT
AMOUNT RELEASED
Herminia Ramiro (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Misamis Occidental
3 million
Monico Puentevella (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Bacolod City
8 million
Eileen Ermita-Buhain (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Batangas
3 million
Samuel Dangwa (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Benguet
3 million
Lorna Silverio (Lakas-CMD)
3rd District, Bulacan
5 million
Reylina Nicolas (Lakas-CMD)
4th District, Bulacan
3 million
Alfonso Umali Jr. (LP)
2nd District, Oriental Mindoro
3 million
Manuel Mamba (LP)
3rd District, Cagayan
5 million
Arthur Celeste (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Pangasinan
3 million
Abraham Kahlil Mitra (NPC)
2nd District, Palawan
3 million
Felix Alfelor Jr. (Kampi)
4th District, Camarines Sur
3 million
Roque Ablan Jr. (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Ilocos Norte
3 million
Conrado Estrella III (NPC)
6th District, Pangasinan
5 million
Fredenil Castro (LP)
2nd District, Capiz
5 million
Manuel Zamora (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Compostela Valley
3 million
Prospero Nograles (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Davao City
3 million
Vincent Garcia (NPC)
2nd District, Davao City
5 million
Nanette Castelo-Daza (Lakas-CMD)
4th District, Quezon City
3 million
Arrel Olaño (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Davao del Norte
5 million
Jose Solis (Kampi)
2nd District, Sorsogon
3 million
Eric Singson (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Ilocos Sur
3 million
Edwin Uy (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Isabela
5 million
Reynaldo Uy (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Western Samar
3 million
Trinidad Apostol (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Leyte
3 million
Carmen Cari (Lakas-CMD)
5th District, Leyte
3 million
Glenda Ecleo (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Dinagat Islands
5 million
(released to her as then representative of 1st District, Surigao del Norte)
Abdullah Dimaporo (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Lanao del Norte
5 million
(P5 million also released to wife Imelda as then provincial governor)
Rodolfo Plaza (NPC)
Lone District, Agusan del Sur
5 million
(P5 million also released to brother Adolph Edward as then provincial governor)
Ma. Milagros Magsaysay (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Zambales
5 million
(father-in-law Vicente, then provincial governor, also named recipient but no actual release made)
Pedro Romualdo (NPC)
Lone District, Camiguin
5 million
(released to him as then provincial governor)
Luis Villafuerte (Kampi)
2nd District, Camarines Sur
5 million
(released to him as then provincial governor)
Antonio Kho (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Masbate
5 million
(released to him as then provincial governor)
Datu Pax Mangudadatu (Kampi/Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Sultan Kudarat
5 million
(released to him as then provincial governor)
Yusop Jikiri (Kampi/Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Sulu
5 million
(released to him as then provincial governor)
Orlando Fua Sr. (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Siquijor
5 million
(released to him as then provincial governor; P5 million also released to son Orlando Jr. as then district representative)
Carmencita Reyes (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Marinduque
5 million
(released to him as then provincial governor; P5 million also released to son Edmundo Jr. as then district representative)

Source: COA

TABLE 4: HOUSE MEMBERS WHOSE RELATIVES WERE ACTUAL RECIPIENTS OF FERTILIZER FUNDS IN 2004
REPRESENTATIVE
DISTRICT
AMOUNT RELEASED
Judy Syjuco (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Iloilo
3 million
(released to husband Augusto as then district representative)
Henry Pride Teves (Lakas-CMD)
3rd District, Negros Oriental
3 million
(released to grandfather Herminio as then district representative)
Alvin Sandoval (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Malabon City-Navotas
3 million
(released to brother Federico II as then district representative; P5 million released to father Vicente as then representative of the 1st district of Palawan)
Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Bulacan
3 million
(released to husband Wilhelmino as then district representative)
Joseph Violago (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Nueva Ecija
3 million
(released to father Eleuterio as then district representative)
Czarina Umali (Lakas-CMD)
3rd District, Nueva Ecija
5 million
(released to husband Aurelio as then district representative)
Jose Ma. Zubiri III (Lakas-CMD)
3rd District, Bukidnon
5 million
(released to brother Juan Miguel as then district representative; father Jose Ma. Jr., then provincial governor, named recipient but no actual release made)
Adam Relson Jala (Lakas-CMD)
3rd District, Bohol
3 million
(released to father Eladio as representative of 2nd district)
Danilo Suarez (Kampi)
3rd District, Quezon
5 million
(released to wife Aleta as then district representative)
Ramon Durano VI (NPC)
5th District, Cebu
5 million
(released to brother Joseph Felix Mari as then district representative)
Rommel Amatong (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Compostela Valley
5 million
(released to father Prospero as then district representative)
Marc Douglas Cagas IV (Lakas-CMD)
1st District, Davao del Sur
3 million
(released to father Douglas as then district representative)
Thelma Almario (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Davao Oriental
3 million
(released to son Joel Mayo as then district representative)
Jeci Lapus (Lakas-CMD)
3rd District, Tarlac
3 million
(released to brother Jesli as then district representative)
Rizalina Seachon-Lanete (NPC)
3rd District, Masbate
5 million
(released to brother-in-law Fausto Seachon Jr. as then district representative)
Faustino Dy III (NPC)
3rdt District, Isabela
5 million
(released to brother Faustino Jr. as then provincial governor)
Franklin Bautista (Kampi)
2nd District, Davao del Sur
5 million
(released to brother Benjamin Jr. as then provincial governor)

Source: COA

TABLE 5: HOUSE MEMBERS/RELATIVES OF HOUSE MEMBERS LISTED AS RECIPIENTS OF FERTILIZER FUNDS IN 2004
REPRESENTATIVE
DISTRICT
AMOUNT PROPOSED
Erwin Chiongbian (Lakas-CMD)
Lone District, Sarangani
3 million
(named recipient but no actual release made)
Jose Carlos Lacson (Lakas-CMD)
3rd District, Negros Occidental
3 million
(named recipient but no actual release made)
Victor Aguedo Agbayani (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Pangasinan
5 million
(named recipient as then provincial governor but no actual release made)
Albert Garcia (Lakas-CMD)
2nd District, Bataan
5 million
(father Enrique Jr., then district representative, named recipient but no actual release made)
Anna York Bondoc (NP)
4th District, Pampanga
3 million
(brother Juan Pablo, then district representative, named recipient but no actual release made)
Joseph Emilio Abaya (LP)
1st District, Cavite
3 million
(father Plaridel, then district representative, named recipient but no actual release made)
Matias Defensor Jr. (Lakas-CMD)
3rd District, Quezon City
5 million
(daughter Maite, then the district representative, named recipient but no actual release made)

Source: COA

2 Responses to So much for delicadeza

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Life in Gloria’s Enchanted Kingdom » Monico Puentavella: Defender of women

December 4th, 2008 at 1:37 pm

[...] THE WAYMonico Puentevella (Lakas-CMD, Lone District, Bacolod City) is listed as an actual recipientof P8 Million from Jocelyn Bolante’s fertilizer kitty. All the other congressmen and/or their [...]

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Huseng Bulag

December 4th, 2008 at 2:00 pm

The last ounce of delicadeza in the current dispensation were long carried out of Malacanang by the Hyatt 10. Since then, we cannot be faulted for treating all those who stayed behind and those who joined later as mere lapdogs and opportunists. To put it simply, will you join a band of robbers, say as a runner, a lookout or even a cook? We just got the government we deserve. Shame on us all.

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