Tesda seeks DoJ probe of former execs
Another state agency mandated to help poor Filipinos is claiming to have uncovered lavish and irregular expenditures of Arroyo administration officials.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) on Tuesday sought the help of the Department of Justice (DoJ) to look into the possible criminal liability of its former officials who allegedly facilitated the release of billions of pesos for questionable transactions.
Tesda Director General Joel Villanueva personally submitted to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima documents covering various projects under his predecessor, Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco.
In a closed-door meeting, Villanueva asked De Lima to assist Tesda in examining the documents and ascertaining the accountability of Syjuco and Tesda personnel involved in the allegedly anomalous projects.
“Tesda could be the next [to expose corruption] after PCSO,” De Lima said, referring to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
In a recent meeting with Inquirer editors and reporters, PCSO Chair Margarita Juico disclosed that the state-owned charity agency incurred some P4 billion in debt because of the previous board’s questionable financial transactions, including lavish advertising spending.
Villanueva said among the Tesda expenditures that he wanted scrutinized was the P2.4 billion earmarked for the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship which, he said, was awarded to fly-by-night and nonexistent schools.
“I was really stunned when I found out that there were scholarship vouchers covered by bouncing checks that were issued by the previous administration,” Villanueva said.
He said a previous report from the Commission on Audit had uncovered irregularities in the way Tesda had allocated funds to vocational schools and awarded scholarships.
Of the P2.4 billion, he said only P880 million were backed by receipts and other pertinent documents.