• ‘Ax should fall on DBM’ over SAROs

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    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) cannot escape responsibility for the proliferation of fake Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) which were used to authorize releases from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), opposition lawmakers said Thursday.

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    Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares and Alliance of Concerned Teachers’ Antonio Tinio zeroed in on the Budget department as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) probes four congressional staff members found to have possession of 12 fake SAROs.

    The DBM issues a SARO to allow a government agency to bid out the projects, including those funded by PDAF.

    Based on the SARO, the Budget agency issues a Notice of Cash Allocation for the release the fund for the projects.

    Colmenares believes a syndicate might be behind the issuance of fake release orders “because the system is complicated, if not sophisticated. You have to know someone from the DBM, from the implementing government agencies.”

    “To facilitate such scheme, there must be a conspiracy between various offices and
    first persons,” Colmenares, the House Deputy Minority Leader, said in an interview.

    Tinio said the DBM has long been remiss in disbursing SAROs, citing a 2011 Commission on Audit (COA) report that there are 3,158 SAROs which are unaccounted for.

    “In such a situation, you can imagine that it would be easy to fake these SAROs if the DBM itself cannot keep track of SAROs that it issues. The ultimate responsibility is with the DBM, particularly the secretary,” Tinio said, referring to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

    The COA reported that the fake SAROs were found on Emmanuel Raza, a staffer of Zamboanga City Rep. Lilia Nuño, Mary Anne Castillo, from the office of Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco and two others working for Rep. Baby Alfonso-Vargas.

    Haresco said he was not aware the SARO that Castillo, his consultant, received was fake.

    The SARO authorized P10 million released from Haresco’s PDAF for a farm-to-market improvement/rehabilitation project in Balete, Aklan.

    He said the document appeared authentic because it had a serial number, bar code, reference number and was initialed by a DBM official.

    Haresco’s office took the SARO to the Department of Agriculture so that the project can be bidded out by the District Engineering Office. Haresco’s office was later informed by the NBI last November 28 that the SARO was not authentic.

    Vargas said she too did not know the SARO coursed to her office by Raza was fake.

    The SARO for four projects in her district amounting to P30.6 million was handed to her Chief-of-Staff Abraham Pelonio by House Appropriations panel’s Badong.
    Pelonio emailed the document to her staffer Amador Enrico Arao who submitted it to the Regional Office of the Department of Agriculture.

    “If the said SARO was fake, as claimed by the DBM, there was no damage incurred by the government because no money has been expended to implement the same. Such declaration only meant that we in Region 2 would have to wait further if the identified projects requested by our constituents will ever be implemented within the year 2013 or in the coming years,” Vargas said in a statement.

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    4 Comments

    1. If both Cong. Colmenares and Tinio can not file charges on the concern official of the DBM because they are members of Congress, why can their constituents file cases with the Ombudsman. Otherwise, they should stop issuing statement about wrongdoings. It’s useless if nothing is done about it. They seem to look like the traditional politician, which is, as if they are trying to shy off from. Kumilos po kayo at hindi puro salita. Kung puro kayo salita at walang aksyon tumahimik na lang kayo.

    2. Apolonio Reyes on

      Matalino talaga itong si A-Bad Boy from Batanes kahit na KALBO gaya ng BOSS nya. Sinabi nya kaya nawawala yuon mga record nuon 2010 pagka’t nag computerize ang DBM. LOKOHIN MO ANG LOLO MONG PANOT HINDI KAMI PAGKA’T MATAGAL NA KAMIN NALOKO NYO.
      Ang mga palusot ng mga MAGNANAKAW, mapa sa gobierno o privado, ay iwala o siraiin ang lahat ng evidensya upang hindi sila makasuahan ng PLUNDER, GRAFT AND CORRUPTION gaya ng pinagawa ni Janet Napoles sa kanyang tao na pina shredder nya lahat ng mga record nila para walang makita evidensya laban sa kanya, mabuti na lang meron mga whistrle blowers gaya ni Ben Hur Luy.
      Hindi ako magtataka na sa katalinuhan ni BOKAL A-BAD BOY NG BATANES ay bago ito bumababa sa pwesto SA 2016 ay ipa SUNOG NYA ANG DBM, SANA KASAMA SYA!

    3. Arlene Bermudez on

      Iba talaga tong si aBAD eh, pag nahuli sasabihin lang, wala pa namang nailabas na pera eh, kaya walang anomalya.

      Ganyan ba pag nakahuli ka ng magnanakaw sa akto? Kapag hindi pa naitatakas ang ninakaw masasabi mo ba na hindi pa siya magnanakaw?

      Wag ka ng magpalusot aBAD, bistado ka na ng buong mundo. Si PNoy na lang ang hindi pa siguro nakakaalam, kaya pwede mo pa ring i-quote si PNoy na sabi sa yo ay – “I STILL TRUST YOU!” BUT WE ARE NOT STUPID! And that’s for sure.

    4. The trail of evidence will lead straight to the top, assuming the powers at Malacanang and their hired guns no not supress evidence or witnesses. Abangan.