Media involved in PDAF scam cover-up in Department of Agriculture
Three broadcast journalists are in hot water for allegedly taking bribes in exchange for keeping quiet about state-owned National Agribusiness Corporation’s (Nabcor) involvement with PDAF in the years 2007 to 2009.
According to checks and documents held by ex-Nabcor officials Rhodora Mendoza and Vic Cacal, more than Php2M were given to Erwin Tulfo, Carmelo del Prado Magdurulang (Melo del Prado) and one unnamed but very prominent TV and radio personality as payoff to ‘stop criticisms of a Nabcor project.’
The checks to the media-men were described as ‘advertising expenses’ by Nabcor, the corporate arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA) which used senators’ and congressmen’s PDAF to fund ghost projects by fake non-government organisations (NGO).
Mendoza said the payoffs were made under the instruction of either Nabcor President Alan Javellana or then DA Secretary Arthur Yap. Cacal added that ‘Nabcor shoulders the under-the-table expenses of DA on the instructions of Secretary Yap.’
Tulfo had denied the allegations, saying that someone must have used his name. Del Prado, meanwhile, could not comment as he was not allowed by his network bosses: ‘Strict masyado ang GMA diyan. Ayokong magsalita.’
Mendoza and Cacal also have documents showing that Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla Junior and Edgardo Angara with 79 congressmen coursed a total of Php1.7b in PDAF funds through Nabcor.
The two ex-Nabcor officials have already submitted these documents to the Ombudsman and have also applied to become state witnesses.