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Santiago wants to know where P2.7B pork went

05:18 AM December 23, 2014
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. INQUIRER file photo.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. INQUIRER file photo.

MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Monday sought a Senate inquiry into the alleged misuse of P2.7 billion in pork barrel in the hands of local government officials in 2013, as found out by the Commission on Audit (COA).

Santiago said there was a need to monitor the use of public funds to ensure that these would not be used for nonexistent projects.

This would also pave the way for transparency in all stages of the implementation of projects, she added.

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Santiago said she filed a resolution to look into the COA findings that P1.035 billion worth of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations or pork barrel released to local government officials were spent on projects not specified in the special allotment release orders.

In certain instances, the local government units were found to have paid cash advances in excess of the allowable limit.

The COA also found that another P1.106 billion in pork barrel funds had not been returned to the National Treasury during audit, and were still under the control of local executives.

This despite the Supreme Court ruling invalidating the pork barrel system, and stating that all remaining PDAF funds should revert to the general fund.

The audit agency likewise discovered that some P547.082 million in PDAF disbursements were not supported by sufficient documentation.

Certain localities also implemented pork barrel-funded projects without public biddings, or went ahead with the biddings despite the Supreme Court ruling stopping the use of the funds. Leila B. Salaverria

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TAGS: COA, Commission On Audit, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Philippine Senate, pork barrel scam, pork scam, Senator Santiago
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