September 22, 2011
MANILA, Philippines – Malacanang said it is ready to cooperate in an investigation into the reported agriculture fund scam.
“We are eager to know who profited from that scam,” said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
Senators Francis Pangilinan has called for a probe into the alleged misuse of the Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF).
ACEF is supposed to help farmers and fisherfolk and agricultural entrepreneurs become competitive. In a report submitted to Pangilinan in January 2011, ACEF records show that it only has P1.8 billion fund balance remaining.
The fund misuse supposedly happened during the time of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Former Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap has already denied the allegations.
“This investigation comes at a crucial time in our efforts to uplift the lives of our farmers and fisherfolk. We cannot by inaction allow those who mismanaged the funds to get away with it. To refuse to act and get to the bottom of it would send the signal that we aren’t serious in cleaning up the agriculture and fisheries bureaucracy by going after these scalawags,” Pangilinan said. – with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
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