• ‘Unliquidated’ P7B funding projects

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    The P7-billion fund transfers done by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) under then-Secretary Manuel Roxas were unliquidated because projects they funded are still under implementation.

    Akbayan party-list Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez, the Liberal Party (LP)-led administration coalition spokesman, was responding to accusation by the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) that Roxas was remiss in his duties as DILG chief because of the huge amount of unliquidated funds under his watch as stated in a Commission on Audit (COA) report.

    Gutierrez noted that the P7 billion has been downloaded to local government units (LGUs) as financial assistance for various Bottom-up-Budgeting projects that are part of the Bohol Earthquake Assistance and Recovery Assistance for Yolanda.

    “The responsibility for liquidation is now with the LGUs. Many projects are still being implemented and, thus, have not been liquidated. All these funds are fully accounted for and the entire process is completely transparent,” he said.

    State auditors said the unliquidated fund transfers covered such projects as the Provision of Potable Water program, PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn, Bottom-Up Budgeting, Rehabilitation Assistance on Yolanda and the Public Transport Assistance Program.

    “Now that we’ve given a full explanation of this issue, will Vice President [Jejomar] Binay now be willing to give an equally clear and straightforward answer on the acts of corruption linked to him as thoroughly discussed in the Senate, Ombudsman, COA and AMLC reports?” Gutierrez said, referring to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

    An AMLC report earlier revealed that in 2014, a law firm owned by Binay sent P100 million to Citibank Hongkong through Philrem, a company now facing investigation from various government authorities for transferring the $81 million in dirty money to RCBC Jupiter Branch in Makati City (Metro Manila).

    “Everything is clear and transparent, the documentation is there, and this is not an issue. But we are surprised that the camp of Vice President Binay will make an issue out of this. We have answered this squarely.  Now, it is their turn to answer corruption charges amid the overwhelming evidence of overpriced buildings in Makati,” Gutierrez said.

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