PCOO exec files resignation; denies anomaly in Asean fund
An official of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) confirmed on Friday his resignation but denied any irregularity in the disbursement of funds used during the 2017 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Noel Puyat, PCOO undersecretary for administration and finance, said he submitted his resignation to the President on May 1 but is effective on May 30.
“It is with sad and a heavy heart that I write this letter to you signifying my resignation from PCOO as of May 30. Being the lawyer of my family, I have been requested by my father to assist some business and some personal matters,” Puyat said in his resignation letter.
He, however, denied a tabloid report that the Commission on Audit (COA) has questioned the PCOO’s use of P647.11 million to fund an information caravan during the country’s chairmanship of the Asean in 2017.
“I was very, very surprised. That’s why I went straight to COA and asked for some sort of certification. I wanted to know,” Puyat said in a phone interview with Malacañang reporters.
He said that of the P1.4 billion budget of the PCOO for the Asean, P600 million unspent funds were already returned to the National Treasury.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed a resolution on Tuesday to investigate the alleged misuse of funds.
But Puyat sent to the media a copy of a letter from COA, saying that it has nor released any audit report for PCOO.
“Anyway, we have the COA certification that no said audit report exists, and there’s no ongoing investigation in black and white. And I think that is the best evidence to prove that no said investigation or report exists if it comes from COA itself,” he said.
Puyat said he was ready to face the Senate should he be invited to face the inquiry regarding the PCOO’s budget for the Asean.
“The finance and budget divisions are preparing necessary documents and we will present such to the Senate if requested,” he said. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.