Press Release
September 18, 2011


Senator Franklin Drilon on Sunday called for an investigation into the P7.5 billion farm-to-market roads fund released by the Arroyo administration the May 2010 elections even without actual programs of work.

Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the funds were released by the Department of Agriculture from January-June last year, or the months just before former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stepped down from office,

"We have gathered evidence that funds for these farm-to-market roads were released before the change of the administration," said Drilon in a radio interview, pointing out a similar scheme such as the P729.48 million in fertilizer funds which were diverted for the 2004 presidential campaign of Arroyo, now a Pampanga congresswoman.

Actual releases of the P7.5 billion fund were done in just six months, Drilon said, as he questioned how the Agriculture deparment, then headed by former Secretary Arthur Yap, was able to disburse such a huge amount.

"The former officials in the Department of Agriculture are rather efficient in utilization of funds," said Drilon, also the chairman of the Senate Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures, which came through with the alleged irregularity in the project.

"We are determining if the funds went to 'farm-to-pocket roads', 'roads to my farm' or nothing has happened at all."

Asked about the extent of the liability of officials involved, Drilon said: "We do not want to come to any conclusion. We are currently looking into this."

Drilon said he is still verifying the documents related to the project as to where the projects are located.

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