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Papers on intel funds missing

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 01:57 AM July 15, 2011

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) documents liquidating some P54 million in intelligence funds in 2007 are missing, Audit Commissioner Heidi Mendoza said on Thursday.

Mendoza told the Senate blue ribbon committee that the documents “were not existing” when then Commission on Audit (CoA) Chairman Reynaldo Villar came on board in April 2008.

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“I have to admit that until now we cannot find the records,” she said in reply to Sen. Franklin Drilon’s question.

At the committee hearing on the PCSO fund mess, Drilon said the amount appeared not to have been liquidated because no credit advice was issued.

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Mendoza could not say yet if this had been liquidated.

“Because there are no documents to liquidate I cannot say for sure. We tried our best to find the documents. We don’t want also to pass a wrong judgment,” Mendoza said.

The release of the amount preceded the P325 million in additional intelligence funds that the PCSO board had requested from then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from 2008 to 2010.

Blood money

Former PCSO General Manager Rosario Uriarte earlier testified that portions of the intelligence funds were spent to pay for blood money for the kin of those killed by overseas Filipino workers and to fund relief operations for typhoon victims.

Foreign Undersecretary Esteban Conejos said the payment of the blood money was aboveboard and that the checks were delivered to the families of the crime victims.

Conejos said the government would exhaust all means to save the life of an overseas worker from the death penalty by the payment of blood money.

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“So the DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] goes to the Office of the President. We tell the OP, ‘This is what we need. This is what the victim’s family wants,’” Cornejos said in an interview.

P2.5-billion intel fund

Mendoza said that for 2010 alone, the CoA handled the liquidation of P2.5 billion in intelligence funds from the national government, local government units and government-owned and controlled corporations, and $108,190 from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

“I think we are uncovering quite some interesting data here,” Drilon said, referring to the dollar amount of Pagcor’s intelligence fund.

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TAGS: Graft and Corruption, hearing, intelligence funds, PCSO, Philippines, Senate
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