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13 Caraga execs received P64-M farm inputs not fertilizer funds in 2004

Thirteen local government unit officials including House of Representative members from Caraga Region with different non-government organizations (NGO) and foundations as project implementers received in 2004 a total of P64-M as farms inputs not fertilizer funds, copies of SARO issued by the Department of Agriculture revealed.

The SARO numbered E-04-00164 dated February 3, 2004 signed by finance, accounting and administrative officials of the Department of Agriculture Caraga Regional Office here have identified provincial, municipal and congressional districts officials as proponents with actual allocation releases ranging from P3 million to P5 million each with number of beneficiaries indicated in the list as recipients.

However in the same two-pages SARO it was not mentioned what kind of materials/goods the beneficiaries or recipients received except the repetition of the word bottles in each items distributed and two units of tractors for the farmers of Cantilan, Surigao del Sur.

Local officials and House of Representative members named in the February 3, 2004 SARO were Butuan City Mayor Theresa B. Plaza who got P5 million, 1st District of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City Rep. Leovigildo B. Bana-ag got P3 million.

Plaza is no longer the Mayor but her husband, Democrito “Boy Daku” is the current Butuan City Mayor while Bana-ag is no longer the Congressman.

The current First District of Agusan del Norte Congressman is Rep. Jose “Joboy” Aquino, II.

For the second district of Agusan del Norte were Nasipit, Agusan del Norte Mayor Enrico R. Corvera and Buenavista, Agusan del Norte Mayor Percenita Racho got P3 million each.

Corvera is now Agusan del Norte Vice Governor while Racho is no longer Buenavista town Mayor.

For the lone district of Agusan del Sur, the SARO named then Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward “Eddie Bong” Plaza who got P5 million twice totaling to P10 million while her brother, lone district of Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Plaza of NPC got P5 million.

First District of Surigao del Norte Rep. Glenda Ecleo got P2 million while then Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte Arlene Navarro got P5 million. Ecleo is now lone district of Dinagat Islands Congresswoman while Navarro was one of the casualties of the M/V Leonida motorboat sea mishap.

The province of Surigao del Norte through then Governor Robert Lyndon Barbers got P5 million while Surigao City Mayor Alfonso Casurra got P5 million.

For Surigao del Sur, then Second District of Surigao del Sur Rep. Jessnar Falcon got P5 million, while the province of Surigao del Sur through Governor Vicente Pimentel, Jr. got P5 million.

For the first district of Surigao del Sur, then Rep. Prospero Pichay, Jr., through the Municipality of Cantilan represented by Cantilan Mayor Tomasa Guardo got P5 million for the purchase of two farm tractors for the farmers in Cantilan.

Among NGOs and foundations named in the SARO as implementors were, Ikaw at Ako Foundation for Agusan del Norte’s First Congressional District and Butuan City.

The Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc for lone district of Agusan del Sur and for Surigao del Norte while People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation, Inc. for the second district of Surigao del Sur.

The rest listed local government units such the City Governments of Butuan and Surigao and municipal and provincial governments as project implementors with number of barangays and farners as recipients.

Agriculture officials in the region claimed all beneficiaries/recipients including goods/items distributed in the SARO’s list were properly accounted for and follow government procedures. (PNA)

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