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AMOUNTS ABOVE ALLOWABLE CAP

COA orders Binay Jr., et al. to return P45-M intel, confidential funds

/ 05:04 AM September 11, 2018

The Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and three others to return to the government P45 million in intelligence and confidential funds (ICFs) that exceeded the allowable amount or lacked presidential approval.

COA Intelligence and Confidential Fund Audit Office Director Mario Lipana was authorized by Chair Michael Aguinaldo to issue two notices of disallowance (NDs) both dated Sept. 5.

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ND No. 2018-003 stated that P25 million was released in the latter part of 2013 without the approval of President Benigno Aquino III. It added that he approved the funding for the first half of 2013 but not the second.

Even if the President was deemed to have approved the second semester funding, the city would have exceeded its allowable ICF cap of P25.41 million for 2013 since P25 million had already been disbursed for the first semester, the COA said.

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Same discrepancy

A similar discrepancy in computing the ICF limit was also cited in ND No. 2018-001 as the basis for the disallowance of the P20-million ICF released in December 2010.

Just like in 2013, the Makati City government also requested P50 million in 2010. The difference was that Aquino actually approved the request in full.

Yet, even with his approval, the COA found it excessive because the ICF cap for 2010 was only P26.16 million.

Besides Binay, former city budget officer Lorenza Amores and former city administrators Marjorie de Veyra and Eleno Mendoza Jr. were directed to “settle immediately the said disallowance.” The notices may be appealed within a period of six months from receipt.

When reached by the Inquirer for comment, the Binay family spokesperson, Joey Salgado, said he “couldn’t speak for
Mayor Junjun on that issue.”

The head of the city’s legal department, Michael Camiña, also declined to comment, saying “all of these [issues] happened before our time.”

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, COA, Commission On Audit, Confidential Funds, intelligence funds, jejomar Erwin binay jr., Junjun Binay, Michael Aguinaldo, Noynoy Aquino
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