COA audit on missing Malampaya fund proposed

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The allies of former president and Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga have urged the Commission on Audit (COA) to scrutinize the P130 billion Malampaya fund.

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Reps. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez of Leyte and Joselito Atienza of Buhay Hayaang Yumabong party-list made the call in light of the disclosure by the Department of Finance and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) officials that the P130 billion Malampaya fund—a government money from the Malampaya gas and oil filed in Palawan—has been commingled or mixed up with the General Fund.

The Finance department’s disclosure was contrary to its earlier claim that the P130 billion Malampaya fund is intact.

“We don’t want to jump the gun at this point, but a COA audit should be in order. There should be proper investigation. Hopefully, the fund is properly disbursed. Otherwise, appropriate charges should be filed,” Romualdez said in a press conference.

“The Malampaya fund should not be co-mingled with the general funds. That cannot be the case. Somebody should be held liable,” Atienza added.

Under the law, the Malampaya fund should be spent for energy development projects and other initiatives deemed by the President, making it a discretionary fund of the Chief Executive.

The Supreme Court has already issued a Temporary Restraining Order on the release of the Malampaya fund for 2013 amid the government probe on the alleged undue transfer of P900 million Malampaya fund to bogus entities by Janet Lim-Napoles. LLANESCA T. PANTI

 

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