Capitol to review NGOs list amid pork scandal
The Cebu provincial government will review its list of accredited non-government organizations (NGOs) to avoid funding bogus groups in the wake of the P10-billion pork barrel scam involving businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said the province employs strict guidelines before accrediting NGOs like verifying a group's Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration, review of its track record and vision/mission.
"This is the first time that I've heard about her name. If you attend our sessions, you would know that we are very strict with accreditation of NGOs. We will check all the NGOs we've accredited starting from 2007," Magpale said.
Magpale said she will examine the list of NGOs affiliated with the province to check whether some are included in the reported organizations connected to Napoles.
Reports surfaced about former Cebuano congressmen releasing funds to two NGOs allegedly linked with Napoles.
These include former Cebu 1st district representative Eduardo Gullas, 5th district representative Ramon "Red" Durano, former 6th district representative Nerissa Soon-Ruiz and former 3rd district representative Antonio Yapha.
"Clear the names of those who are not guilty with the association," Magpale said.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said Napoles' arrest is just one more step closer to finding the truth about the scam.
"It is a good development. With her arrest, we can now get to the bottom of this issue," he said in a text message.
Davide said the government can learn and apply reforms to ensure protection of taxpayers' money.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama lauded Napoles for surrendering to President Benigno Aquino III.
"I'm so struck with her courage. I salute and commend her for her extraordinary courage to appear," Rama said.
Rama recounted the case of former city hall paymaster Rosalina Badana who disappeared with P18.5 million in city government funds.
He urged Badana to follow Napoles and to clear things out.
"Look at Badana, until now she hasn't been seen. Badana, wherever you are, look at Napoles. Come out. Para maklaro na (So things can be clear)," Rama said.