No Malampaya Funds Used By Present Administration – DAR

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dar web news pix jan. 23 2014 400The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) yesterday denied that the present leadership of the agency was involved in any Malampaya fund misuse. DAR Undersecretary Anthony N. Paruñgao, in a statement, said that the DAR has not received any portion of the Malampaya funds since the present administration started. He issued this denial in connection with the plunder case filed by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). The KMP last tuesday charged President Aquino, DAR Secretary de los Reyes, DBM Secretary Abad and nine others with plunder before the Ombudsman for allegedly using the Malampayang funds to purchase farming products.

He said that a cursory look at the timelines of the Malampaya fund infusion to the DAR shows that the fund was released to the DAR and was used in 2009, which was prior to the transition of administration in mid-2010.

Paruñgao then stated that the present DAR administration in fact took the initiative to look into the apparent exploitation of the funds even before it came out in the news.

“After receiving reports that some of the supposed beneficiaries of the Malampaya fund denied having received any financial assistance or support from the DAR back in 2009, the Office of the Secretary directed its Internal Audit Service on November 2012 to conduct an investigation, which began the following month.” Paruñgao accounted.

He then recounted that the DAR turned over copies of the documents it has collected both to the Commission on Audit, which conducted its own special investigation on the matter, and the National Bureau of Investigation.

“The DAR has shown its readiness and willingness to cooperate in any investigation on the Malampaya fund issue, and it will continue to do so as the processes progress.” Paruñgao said.

“Incidentally, there were fund releases back in 2011. These however did not emanate from the Malampaya funds. As early as July 2012 though, the DAR has started investigating these supposed inappropriate releases, more than a year ahead of it coming out in the media sometime in the last quarter of 2013. The DOJ has already been furnished copies of reports and documents that we have collected for deeper investigation. We are also ready and willing to cooperate in any investigation on this matter.” Paruñgao added.