Lacson exposed new kickback scheme using "pork parking" - The Daily Sentry

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Lacson exposed new kickback scheme using "pork parking"

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson / photo from Philstar

Manila, Philippines – Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson bared that some legislators have found a new way to earn kickbacks or commission out of the congressional pork after a P10-billion pork barrel scam was exposed several years ago.

Before, the pork barrel scam involved the use of nongovernment organizations (NGOs) to channel money from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations of lawmakers to fictitious projects.

‘The new scheme’

Lacson said on Friday that the new scheme now involves large amounts of pork in the allotment for certain lawmakers who are “well-connected”, who then offer extra funds to areas or districts that are so not well-funded, on condition that the legislator making the offer chooses the contractor for their projects.

“That’s the new scheme” the senator said

“Big amounts of pork are parked in a legislative district of a well-connected congressman. Then he/she offers to share portions of that parked pork to other congressmen with very little or no pork allocations with the understanding that the choice of contractor remains with the former,” he said.

‘Only logical conclusion’

Lacson said that the one who owns the pork gets the commission even after the congressman accepts the offer for her or his district.

“In an investigator’s mind like mine, the only logical conclusion for retaining the contractor as a precondition to divert his allocation to another district is ‘commission’ or kickback from the contractor,” he explained.

Lacson said these “well-connected” congressmen and senators get allocation “in the B’s (billions) even if they know their absorptive capacity is limited because they know they can offer portions of their pork” to other legislators.*

Lacson said that he learned about this scheme of “pork parking” from a friend who is a “congressman”.

'lawmakers should denounce pork parking'

A senator’s staffer offered to the congressman’s staffer P200 million worth of projects for infrastructure for his district in return that the senator has to choose his contractor.

“In fairness to the senator, he might not know what his staff was doing or negotiating,” he added

The congressman had to decline the offer “because he can’t be sure of the quality of the project” and he would be blamed for any poor construction by his constituents," Lacson said who refused to disclose the name of the said senator as well as the congressman.

“I hope more lawmakers who don’t benefit monetarily at least come out and denounce this scourge that refuses extinction in spite of the (Supreme Court) ruling, not to mention the numerous cases pending with the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan and other courts,” Lacson said.

In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled to ban the Priority Development Assistance Fund or also known as “pork barrel.”

The senator also said that this “pork parking” scheme was confirmed by Sorsogon Rep. Deogracias Ramos Jr., who said that some party-list representatives had done it, parking their funds in his district.

 Source: Inquirer