In a public hearing at the Education Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, the president of the National Fund for the Development of Education (FNDE), Marcelo Lopes da Ponte, reaffirmed this Wednesday (25) that he was never influenced by pastors of or any other people. in the management of the body.
As in the Senate, Ponte was called by the deputies to give explanations about complaints that pastors Arilton Moura and Gilmar Silva would have acted as intermediaries with the municipalities in the release of resources from the Ministry of Education, through the FNDE, in exchange for payment of bribes. “I want to make it clear that I have never been influenced by a pastor or anyone else. Our work is eminently technical”, assured Marcelo da Ponte to the Education Commission.
The president of the FNDE added that even in the events that had the participation of the evangelicals investigated in events of the folder, the pair never traveled with the Ministry of Education team, in a Brazilian Air Force (FAB) plane or in entourages with commercial planes. In addition, he guaranteed that no expenses related to them were ever paid. “My agendas are public and are posted on the site of the FNDE. Regardless of the political party, I always attended to all the people who came to me in these almost two years of management, be they mayors, municipal education secretaries, deputies, senators, governors, among others,” said Ponte.
Also during this Wednesday’s hearing, Ponte again said that he took the suspicions of irregularities in the performance of the pastors to the then minister Milton Ribeiro and to the executive secretary of the portfolio, Victor Godoy, current minister, in August 2021. Ponte recalled that , after returning from a trip to Nova Odessa (SP), he heard “crooked conversations” and immediately took the suspicions to the managers, despite having no evidence. “I did not receive, I was not offered any values, but where there is smoke there is fire and I thought it was good, I said: ‘Minister, I would like you to take action’, and he, still in August of last year, sent this report to the CGU,” he said.
The manager added that he was also heard by the CGU, provided the necessary clarifications and, during his testimony, made his tax, banking and telephone secrecy available to the authorities. “I didn’t have to be afraid, I didn’t do anything wrong”, pointed out Ponte.
Another topic questioned by the deputies was the purchase of kits robotics for schools in Alagoas and Pernambuco. The newspaper Folha de S.Paulo revealed evidence of irregularities in the allocation of R$ 26 million, by the Ministry of Education and the FNDE, for the acquisition of this material by municipalities in Alagoas. According to the complaint, the kits would be destined for schools that did not have basic infrastructure such as water and internet. “All the kits were released with technical criteria. The rapporteur’s amendments are public and available on the site of the CMO. Everything that was paid was paid after the municipalities bid, presented the bidding contracts, the invoices, within the registered prices”, said the president of the FNDE to the Education Commission.