Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Its All Monkey Business In The Palace

As if bribery isn't enough, Malou Mangahas of GMA News has an exclusive report on the palace misuse of its funds. The COA (Commission on Audit) had discovered so many anomalies in the financial books of the presidential funds. Even calamity donations were not spared by the palace.

Imagine, donations for calamity areas were diverted to spruce up the Malacanang Golf Course. Huge amounts of cash advances were left unliquidated and even loans were given out without the necessary documentation.

The COA listed ten adverse observations and this is what they found out about the president's office:

  • Failed to settle cash advances worth P615 million made to officers and employees, local government units and government corporations;
  • Granted P269 million in loans out of the President’s Social Fund “without supporting documents and disbursement vouchers;"
  • Diverted P8.8 million in donations for calamity areas, including P900,000 to spruce up the Malacanang Golf Course, P3 million for hotel and conference expenses, and P4 million as “donation" to an unnamed foundation;
  • “Improperly recorded" P112 million in fund transfers to local government units, government corporations and nongovernmental organizations;
  • “Erroneously recorded in the books of the Office of the President" the P48.9 million balance of a trust account under the name “President’s Social Fund-Livelihood Assistance Program" deposited with the Land Bank of the Philippines;
  • Failed to reconcile booked and physical inventory office supplies, property, plant and equipment, worth P70 million in all;
  • Understated the accumulated depreciation and depreciation expense accounts of property, plant and equipment worth P950 million

This is not all as COA has found discrepancies as far back as 2003. Cash advances alone amounts to nearly to P107 million and with receivables which total to PP508 million. Unrecorded loans under the Presidential Social Fund totaled nearly P270 million were not recorded, and that is for 2003 to January 2004 only.

As if this was not enough, even donations intended for calamity victims were diverted. Of the total P65 million donations, almost P9 million had been diverted. These donations were intended for the following:

  • Donation for the Southern Leyte landslide, P7.1 million
  • Donation for Socio-Economic Projects of the President, P35.6 million
  • Donation for Typhoon Milenyo victims, P2.7 million
  • Donation for the relief and rehabilitation of affected areas in Albay province, P20 million

Malacanang however diverted part of these to fund the following:

  • Burial expenses, P795,000
  • Hotel Expenses, P815,380.15
  • Maintenance of the Malacanang Golf Course, P900,000
  • Summit Conferences/General Assembly, P2,295,241.60
  • Donation to Foundation, P4,000,000

Inventories were also audited by the COA. Malacanang reported:

  • Merchandise inventory worth P726,339.39
  • Drugs and Medicines Inventory, P264,155.15
  • Medical, Dental & Laboratory Supplies Inventory, P152,286.56
  • Gasoline, Oil and Lubricants Inventory, P3,511,843.18
  • Other Supplies Inventory, P8,788,899.79
  • Livestock Inventory, P52,474.00

The COA however determined otherwise.

  • “There was no physical count of the Merchandise Inventory and Livestock Inventory since the balances of these were carried in the book s of accounts and non-moving since 2000."
  • “Drugs and Medicines Inventory have been immediately issued upon receipt."
  • “Gasoline, Oil, and Lubricants Inventory had never been inventoried semi-annually or annually."
  • “In the absence of the physical count, the reliability of the balance of inventories are doubtful," COA said.

So it seems there is really much money going around in the palace. The amount is huge enough for the OP to disregard protocol and do as it pleases with the funds at hand. While victims of calamities suffer, they spend millions for conferences, hotel and even to beautify a golf course.

The OP has an intelligence fund of P3.8 billion, this does not include the PSF and even the donations the office may receive. This shows the insensitivity of Gloria. She can throw away money as she pleases while more and more Filipinos go hungry. She can give away "gifts" to her loyal subjects while our poor soldiers are deprived of their combat pay. She can travel around the world while there are Filipinos who could not even afford to ride a jeep.

Its monkey business as usual in the palace. They say Gloria is a hardworking president, all I see is wanton misuse of government funds and resources. If only every Filipino knew what goes on in Malacanang, millions would have stormed the palace and dragged her out. Her lust for power and riches is just insatiable. Writing this entry struck deep in my heart. I thought I knew all the shenanigans the administration had been doing. I was wrong, there are more hiding in the woodwork.

I am aghast and even angrier with this report. Never have I seen a more callous and insensitive person in my life. Now she has this new anti-poverty program, if only the people knew how lavish her lifestyle is. From junkets to kickbacks, it knocks out my sensibilities.

If she is finally kicked out of office, by whatever means I don't really care anymore, we must make her accountable. She, her husband, Esperon and the rest of her gang should suffer an end so severe that anyone will not dare take the path she had taken. Maybe Gen. Dolofino is right, the latest bribery scandal could lead to a civil war. With these kind of people running the country to the ground, it might just be the only solution.