Imee vows no whitewash in probe of missing P90-M fund
LAOAG CITY—The city treasurer’s office has resumed operations, following an audit on the account of a P90-million fund that disappeared last month along with the city’s treasurer.
But the task force formed by the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) has not come out with its findings, prompting Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos to ask the public to be patient.
“The news regarding the Laoag treasury is not good for anyone, not for Laoag and not for Ilocos Norte,” said the governor.
“We must get to the bottom of it, make certain that there is complete investigation. No whitewash, no coverup and no sacred cow,” Marcos said on Wednesday.
“As a chartered city, the finances of the Laoag government are completely separate,” she said.
“They have their own set of internal controls and the [treasury] is directly reporting to the BLGF and COA and the Department of Finance,” she added.
She said the provincial treasurer’s office intervened when Laoag treasurer Elena Asuncion fled the country shortly after the discovery of the missing funds.
Initial findings showed there have been missing funds since 2007. The irregularity had not been detected until city officials found that the city government’s time deposit and savings accounts did not exist.
Laoag Mayor Chevylle Fariñas said city employees verified these accounts with the banks, to comply with a new COA audit requirement.
Assistant Treasurer Diomedes Gayban is now officer in charge of the treasurer’s office.
Asuncion was last seen here on June 12 when she attended the city’s Independence Day celebration. Leilanie Adriano, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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