WHO GOT FERTILIZED?
Six congressmen, 4 guvs received fertilizer fund
By Francis Allan L. Angelo
WHO among the Western Visayas politicians sources in the Senate and Department of Agriculture (DA) documents, at least nine former and incumbent congressmen and four governors from Region 6 allegactually received part of the controversial fertilizer fund which was released three months before the 2004 elections?
Based on the latest information received by The Guardian from edly benefited from the fertilizer fund through the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) of the Arroyo administration.
Among the incumbent solons who allegedly received the controversial funds were Reps. Arthur Defensor (3rd district, Iloilo) – P3million; Edgar Espinosa (Guimaras) – P5million; and Monico Puentebella (Bacolod City) P5million.
Also getting part of the fund were former Reps. Augusto Syjuco (2nd district, Iloilo) – P5million; Oscar Garin (1st district, Iloilo) – P3million; the late Narciso Monfort (4th district, Iloilo) – P3million; and now Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. (Iloilo City) – P5million.
Only opposition Rep. Rolex Suplico (5th district, Iloilo) was not included in the list.
While the names of former Negros Occidental congressmen Apolinario Lozada (4th district) Alfredo Marañon Jr., (2nd district) and incumbent Rep. Jose Carlos Lacson (3rd district) were also listed in the February 3, 2004 special allocation release order, it has yet to be confirmed if they actually received the funds.
Even Governors Niel Tupas of Iloilo, Joseph Marañon of Negros Occidental, Vicente Bermejo of Capiz and Florencio Miraflores of Aklan also benefited from the fertilizer fund.
During the Senate inquiry into the fertilizer fund controversy last week, Jose Barredo, a self-proclaimed DA runner from Capiz, said Garin, Puentebella, Espinosa and Gov. Bermejo indeed received the fertilizer fund.
In a press con last week, Bermejo confirmed receipt of the funds “but we observed proper procedures and all pertinent documents are with the DA.”
Bermejo said the funds were used for the agriculture development program of the provincial government.
Tupas said he did not receive the fund “as I smelled something fishy from the transaction.”
Garin, Puentebella and Espinosa also denied the allegations and even filed libel charges against Barredo.
Syjuco, who was also challenged by Provincial Administrator Manuel Mejorada to liquidate the fertilizer fund he received, said he divided the funds to his constituents at the second district
Defensor and Gonzalez were not available for comments.
‘ALL IN THE FAMILY’
Girl, 16, raped by uncle, cousin
By Francis Allan L. Angelo
FOR more than nine years, a 16-year-old girl suffered in the hands of her own relatives who took turns in raping her at their home at Tapaz, Capiz.
Nene (not her real name) left her home at Barangay San Nicolas, Tapaz after her parents refused to believe her accusations against two uncles and two cousins.
Nene said the five suspects have been “feasting” on her body since she was seven years old.
Nene first suffered in the hands of her mother’s cousin sometime in 1996 at their own home in San Nicolas.
The victim said she did not tell her mother about her ordeal for fear of her life.
For the next four years, two of her uncles and a cousin took turns in raping her in their home whenever they got the chance.
The last time Nene was abused was on November 20 and 22 when a 17-year-old cousin satisfied his carnal desires against her.
Unable to suffer her fate, Nene told her parents what happened to her the past nine years. But her parents did not believe Nene saying it was impossible for their relatives to abuse her.
Last weekend, Nene fled to Calinog, Iloilo to avoid more abuse and also in protest for the lack of concern she got from her parents.
Luckily, Punong Barangay Efren Zerrudo pitied Nene and helped the victim by bringing her to the police.
Nene is now under custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development where she is undergoing counseling.
The suspects, whose identities the police did not reveal, are now at-large.
Reportedly, two already went to Manila, one to Mindanao while the other one is still in Tapaz town. (Published in The Guardian-Western Visayas, Nov. 28, 2005)