MANILA, Philippines –A Commission on Audit (COA) special report from 2007 to 2009 has listed Manuel A. Roxas II as among lawmakers whose pork barrel funds have been released to questionable non-government organizations.
According to the report, a certain “Manuel M. Roxas” gave P5 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to the Kaloocan Assistance Council, Inc. (KACI) through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) Central Office.
COA, in a phone interview, confirmed to INQUIRER.net that Manuel M. Roxas referred to the Interior Secretary.
The report also listed the former senator, under his correct name Manuel A. Roxas II, as having released the P5 million for “soft projects.”
INQUIRER.net asked COA for details of the former senator’s project with KACI but it said it can only refer to the special audit report. The report did not specify the program where the P5 million was spent.
Roxas’ PDAF release to KACI was lumped together with those of other lawmakers used to cover “grant of financial assistance and procurement of various sports, livelihood supplies, medicine, anti-rabies, training materials and assorted reading glasses from 14 suppliers/providers.”
KACI reportedly received P133.6 million for 21 PDAF-funded projects coursed through the DSWD.
INQUIRER.net tried to get the side of Roxas on the COA report, but he could not be reached as of late Wednesday night.
Other legislators with KACI projects, several of which remained unliquidated, were former senate president Juan Ponce Enrile (P10 million); Caloocan City Reps. Oscar Malapitan (P25.3 million), Luis Asistio (P25 million), and Mary Mitzi Cajayon (P30.3 million); former Quezon City Rep. Vincent Crisologo (P18 million); and former Navotas-Malabon Rep. Alvin Sandoval (P20 million).
Roxas was not among those with unliquidated funds. At the same time, he did not confirm with the COA team if his signatures in pertinent documents were authentic.
Of Roxas’ P5 million PDAF under Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) 07-05504, P58,000 was spent on administrative expenses while P100,000 was given as financial or educational assistance to the NGO’s employees.
COA noted that KACI spent P5.593 million in PDAF funds for financial/educational assistance/cash for work program assistance to its employees.
The NGO reported 15,461 recipients in 1,596 villages but according to COA:
– 47 barangay chairpersons from Caloocan said they did not know about KACI’s programs while beneficiaries said to have received assistance worth P401,600 were not their residents;
– 179 beneficiaries denied receiving assistance worth P1.2 million;
– 279 beneficiaries cannot be located;
– Of the 7,231 recipients, only 2,045 were registered voters whose identities can be established.
Among KACI’s projects was the installation of a “modular information system including provision of computer hardware” which COA said was not included in the “menu of projects eligible for funding under PDAF and cannot be considered at all necessary.”
Most of the projects’ recipients could not “categorically answer if the items being confirmed were indeed installed” and were “not aware of the reports being generated by the information systems and the purpose and users of such reports.”
COA said the NGO was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and had a business permit for 2008 and 2009. However, it did not confirm its transactions and did not submit additional documents requested by the special audit team.
Of the 14 suppliers listed by KACI, only 4 confirmed their transactions with COA.
“These suppliers, however, either did not report their transactions to the concerned City Government as it reported lower sales or, otherwise, have no business permit to operate,” the COA report said.
On August 16, COA revealed their special audit report on the PDAF.
COA Chair Grace Pulido-Tan said their investigation began even before the whistleblowers revealed the alleged P10 billion “pork barrel” scam involving Janet Lim-Napoles and some lawmakers.
Legislators earlier said inclusion in the list did not mean that the fault lies with them.
During last Friday’s hearing, Senate President Franklin Drilon said senators should be given a chance to explain before other pass judgment on them.