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Malampaya fund theft riles President

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has called for accountability for the corruption involving earnings of the Malampaya natural gas project.

“Alam mo ang malas ng Pilipinas? Ewan ko, Diyos lang ang makasagot nito. Ang Indonesia, may oil. Brunei, may oil. Ang Malaysia, may oil. Tayo, wala. Kokonti lang gas natin (Malampaya) kinurakot,” he said at the 6th Regional Community Defense Group Ground, Camp General Adriano Hernandez, Dingle, Iloilo on Thursday.

The Malampaya Deepwater Gas-to-Power project off the coast of northwestern Palawan was the subject of a controversy over the alleged use of its earnings to fund the fake non-government organizations allegedly run by Janet Lim-Napoles.

The Malampaya gas field has proven reserves of about 2.5-3.5 trillion cubic feet of gas (TCF), 85 million barrels of condensate and at least 20 to 40 million barrels of oil, according to the information posted on the Department of Energy website.

The Malampaya gas field is scheduled to produce 146 billion cubic feet (BCF) of gas per year.

In his speech, Duterte said the people responsible for the alleged mismanagement of funds should be held accountable.
    
“Uwi na tayo. Nag-init ulo ko. [laughter] Somebody has to account for the loss of it. Hindi ako papayag na… ‘Yung Malampaya, may kita ‘yan,” he said.
    
“Kailangan talaga may managot diyan. Hindi pwede ng.... ‘Yung sa akin pwede ako magpasensya, pero kung utang mo sa Pilipino—lahat ngayon bayad,” he added.
    
The Office of the Ombudsman had already indicted several people, including Napoles, former Budget secretary and incumbent Camarines Sur Representative Rolando Andaya Jr. and former Agrarian Reform secretary Nasser Pangandaman, for graft and malversation before the Sandiganbayan over the Malampaya fund mess.
    
Ombudsman investigators found that P900 million from the Malampaya fund was channeled to Napoles’ 12 NGOs that implemented ghost projects.
    
The Ombudsman said the documents were all fictitious because there were no deliveries of agricultural kits or packages, the lists of farmer-beneficiaries were manufactured, and signatures of the recipients were forged.