Thursday, August 18, 2011
PCSO 2004 and 2007 intelligence funds still unliquidated
MANILA, August 19, 2011-Senator Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee revealed that the intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) last 2004 and 2007 remained unliquidated.
Drilon who is deliberating the proposed P1.816 trillion national budget for 2012 said that the documents pertaining to the use of the intelligence funds could have been concealed by the previous PCSO board, with the Commission on Audit (COA) admitting they have yet to liquidate a still undetermined amount due to lack of records.
“We suspect that the intelligence funds were used by the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the 2004 and 2007 elections,” Drilon said.
COA chairperson Maria Gracia Pulido-Tan told the Finance committee yesterday that the former PCSO board has not submitted a liquidation of the state-run charity agency’s intelligence funds, even a certification which is the current practice of government agencies in liquidating confidential and intelligence funds.
“There are no records on file for 2004 and 2007. Interestingly, these were election years. They did not submit reports for 2004 and 2007,” said Pulido-Tan, referring to the previous PCSO board headed by ex-general Manager Rosario Uriarte, who was figured prominently in the illegal disbursement of PCSO intelligence funds.
“After a Senate hearing, it was uncovered that P150 million has been released by the former PCSO board to the former President a few months before the 2010 presidential elections,” Drilon said.
It was bared during a previous Senate inquiry on the PCSO’s intelligence funds that a total of P325 million, excluding the P150 million released during the 2010 elections, has been released by the former PCSO board from 2008-2010.
Uriarte, who served PCSO from 2003-2010, was given the sole authority to disburse intelligence funds which came from PCSO’s public relations funds. She eventually admitted that she issued and encashed the checks with respect to intelligence funds.
Drilon said that they do not even know how much was appropriated for 2004 and 2007 because that has to be checked with PCSO; thus, there is a need for COA to submit the corporate operating budget of the PCSO for the years involved for the purpose of identifying how much has been allocated by the state firm as intelligence funds. (Jason de Asis)
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