Ombudsman probing Malampaya fund misuse


Ex-Palawan Governor Joel Reyes. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The case of the alleged misuse of some P1.782 billion in Palawan’s share from the Malampaya Fund in 2009 by former Gov. Joel Reyes and local officials is undergoing a preliminary investigation in the Office of the Ombudsman, according to Commission on Audit Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan.

Tan in an interview said she was pleased to note that the celebrated case was finally moving as a result of the improved coordination between government frontline agencies involved in the anticorruption drive.

The money represented the share of the local government units of Palawan—from the provincial, city and municipal down to the barangay levels—that host the geothermal plants and support facilities of the Philippine National Oil Corp.-Energy Development Corp. (PNOC-EDC).

The Commission on Audit (COA) recommended the filing of at least 23 criminal charges for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the Procurement Act and the Revised Penal Code against the officials.

Tan said she learned the National Bureau of Investigation had also come out with its own report on the case.

Among the irregularities the COA found were the noncompletion or outright nonexistence of projects that had been reported as having been completed; the falsification of documents; the failure to follow procurement processes according to law; violations of bidding procedures, and the existence of a roster of  contractors who turned out to be the officials themselves.

“It’s very difficult to zero in on specifics because the (violations) were scattered all over the place,” Tan said.

The COA chief did not reveal the names of the other officials so as not to preempt the Ombudsman investigation.

Tan said the Malampaya case resulted from closer coordination and mutual assistance between the Ombudsman and the COA.

“What happens is we do an audit and if we find that there may be something there that … should be dealt with under the criminal justice system, we refer the matter to the Ombudsman,” she said.

The audit report failed to establish a link between former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the release of about P495,019,000 of the Malampaya Fund.

The COA stressed that while the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had said that the disbursements were carried out on the “verbal instructions of then President Gloria M. Arroyo,” the audit had failed to produce documentary proof of such a directive.

It said that the DBM, in a Memorandum for the President dated May 14, 2009, had sought confirmation of the instruction. But the COA noticed that the reply of Arroyo, if there was any, was not among the documents submitted to the state auditors.

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  • dikoy321

    GOOD JOB and CONGRATS to the Office of the Ombudsman under Justice Conchita Carpio

    Morales and to the Commission on Audit under its Chairperson Atty. Grace Pulido-Tan !!!

    Keep it up !  Dig the dirt and EXPOSE them all !!!

    Forward Philippines !!!

  • AlexanderAmproz

    Disgusting Philippines business as usual, a country gangrene, not enough, 
    they have to silenced journalist’s to look good with a deeply rooted arrogance,
    with zero dignity and basic self respect, human basura !

    This is most of the Governor’s “style” outside Among Ed Panlilio and Grace Padaca.

    I remember a drunk Thomas Osmena dandling a gun under the nose of driver
    he didn’t like their parkings way, later on started the Cebu death squad openly
    rewarded by him with ads in Cebu Daily news,
    offering 25’000.- pesos for every killing, even once a top of the line Gun !
    The pier area was their favorite killing range, about same time, 
    numerous Shabu laboratory went on the limelight, with high fly involved,
    even an Osmena Vice Governor was requested by Australia for drug smuggling.

    It show how deep is the Justice “System” problem,
    similar to Columbia, where one half of the parliament was arrested for land Grabbing,
    Drugs, Killing & Torture, including President many relatives.

    Hope to see one day, the “movies macho’s” in cahoots

    In the Philippines it’s more fun, Amazing Philippines !

    • Alex

      pakitagalog mo nga pre…nawala aq eh..^^’

  • Jessie

    You need prof readers, it is not geothermal plants.
    Any way thanks for investigating
    There is a Hotel in Puerto princesa they called Katas ng Malampaya
    Allegedly built from the funds from Malampaya

  • Ronald Diaz

    Ombudsman you must dig up more of your investigation..there are plenty of people involved on this anomaly.. keep up the good work.

  • wawa2172

    Well its nice to know that the funds  misuse is being investigated. It is noted however that the name of GMA is dragged on the issue, hindi ako naawa sa kaniya but verbal instruction cannot stand in court. Since the money involved is too big GMA written order is a must before any budget is released. The ombudsman know her job well and will be able to press charges on those who are involved. As to who give the order to the budget secretary then to release the fund  should be investigated.

  • boypalaban

    sagot daw yang Malampaya sa energy shortage…hahahaha

    sagot yan sa pagkagahaman ng mga walanghiyang namahala diyan….

  • tukmoldinako

    congratulation COA, you deserve a praise, magumpisa na sana ang maayos na pamamahala sa lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno dahil may mga auditor na pala na maaasahan, kasi dati naghahatian, lol

  • EdgarEdgar

    Good Job Ombudsman. What about DOJ Leila de Lima’s recommendation for filing of charges against Miro Quimbo for his involvement in the P7 billion Globe Asiatique Scam?

    The DOJ recommendation came out last April 2012. Conchaba Conchita is being selective again.

  • 444mangyan888

    All these are a-ok….kaya lang 3 taon na naiinipna ang boss ni PNoy, kase wala pa ring nakukulong eh..
    Pakibilisan naman po so we can see somenone behind bars..

  • bryant85

    What improve gov’t relationship are you talking about? Do you mean to say that until 2009 gov’t units concerned are at loggerheads for unknown reasons? As a result of not putting their acts together, corruption reigned, to laugh at our justice system thus installing again our country unto the social world of corruption.

    You studied law, and you knew that justice delayed is justice denied, but why can’t you people in the gov’t refrain from bickering with each other, why can’t you have a smooth flow of transaction so that its operation be flawless in order to grease the wheel of justice resulting to the prompt conviction of the perpetrators but due to innate disrespect, pride and arrogance which of course are outlawed by the provision of public office is a public trust, now the would be jailed culprit are grinning from ear to ear.

    Ha ha ha f–k you ombudsman they say as they hop and jump with glee, drinking tequila and kissing the girls as the song says. Pilipino rotten culture when will it ever improved?.

  • Armando Asuncion

    No surprise at all. Philippines still ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Politicians will do everything to get a seat and stay in power. It’s their belief that it is their passport to a “legalized” corruption! I don’t know how this will end. 

  • tower_of_power

    All government employees must strive to cleanse the system of corruption … I am sure that with BIG GOVERNMENT INCOME resulting from a clean government … tataas ang mga sweldo …
    Increasing the salaries will be a very good investment on the part of the government!!!


  • conradoibarra

    The scam is indeed a disgrace to the reputation of the country, but what about the other GMA “projects” that were investigated, then forgotten? Why is this issue being brought back in light of the reversal of the CA’s reversal of the DoJ’s finding in the Reyes’ involvement of the murder of Doc Gerry. It’s a little suspicious and reeks of political vendetta, rather than a crusade for good governance.

  • mitch ilano

    How about Mayor Hagedorn’s share of the pie Anda, why is there no mention of your boss? 

    Obviously, the scriptwriter of Doc Gerry’s murder is getting desperate because the truth is starting to come out with the CA invalidating de Lima’s 2nd panel. 

  • Isabel Santos

    The present administration is obviously conducting a witch-hunt after it miserably failed in putting the former governor and his brother in jail. All of a sudden, COA Commissioner Tan is saying that the case is finally moving. Ironically this all came after the Court of Appeals voided the resolutions ordered by de Limas second DOJ panel. Suddenly Tan smells like Leila…fishy…very fishy indeed commissioners. And while I am at it, why are they called commissioners? Are they being given commission by politicians? By mayors perhaps? Just asking. 

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