Audit result

COA unearths P2.6-B ‘ghost’ deals in ARMM
By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) Updated August 30, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) has unearthed “ghost” deals involving a total of at least P2.6 billion in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in the province of Maguindanao.

COA chair Grace Pulido-Tan reported to the House appropriations committee that the irregularities took place last year.

She said the office of the regional governor (ORG) entered into transactions amounting to P1.003 billion which cannot be considered legitimate because these were supported by “spurious” documents.

“Funds received by the ORG for its operations were not properly utilized and managed, taking into consideration applicable laws, rules and regulations,” she said.

In Maguindanao, the COA discovered the occurrence of transactions amounting to P856.887 million which may be considered “fictitious” because these were either denied by suppliers or supported with spurious documents.

“Likewise, 99 projects costing P873.448 million were found deficient by P841.925 million as these were either not implemented or implemented but validated accomplishments were way below the reported accomplishments,” Tan said.

She did not indicate in her report under whose leadership in ARMM and Maguindanao in 2010 the spurious transactions were made.

Since the Maguindanao massacre in November 2009, Ansaruddin Adiong has taken over as acting ARMM governor.

In Maguindanao, two officers-in-charge were appointed before Esmael Mangudadatu was elected governor in May 2010.

Tan reported that aside from spurious deals entered into by the regional governor’s office and Maguindanao officials, the ARMM public works office had more than P1 billion in questionable payments.

“The validity and legitimacy of payments amounting to P1.123 billion to 112 suppliers and contractors may be considered questionable,” she said.

She promised to provide details on the questionable transactions in a subsequent report to the appropriations committee.

President Aquino has vowed to curb corruption in the ARMM, for which he is seeking fresh funding of more than P12 billion for 2012.

This is one of the reasons why he pushed for the postponement of the election of new regional officials, scheduled early this month, to May 2013.

The window of more than two years would give the officers-in-charge he will soon appoint time to straighten things out. The President wants the OICs to be “clean,” as far as financial dealings are concerned. Mangudadatu is one of the aspiring OICs.

Aquino also wants to introduce political reforms in the autonomous region.


1 Comment

  1. Corruption in the Philippines is not only dominated by the officers of ARMM , but happened in all layers of bureaucracies in the Country, and this is our weaknesses. But why the ARMM and its weaknesses especially in associated with Corruption has always received more negative attention in the Philippines , the answer is of course because the ARMM is the product of negotiations between the MNLF and the past Government, and will be a justification or a lesson learned to the sub-state initiatives.

    One of the Philippines political analyst even assume that the sub-state which is now being negotiated by the MILF does not work because of their inability in managing a banking institution, moreover managing the overall economic policy in the proposed sub-state, then before all happened the analysts ensure that the up coming sub-state will be the beginning of the economical disaster in the Country.

    As a Muslim I believe that a sustainable peace is something that is indispensable in south Philippines. Peace between fellow Muslim citizens and non-Muslims based on sincerity and not peace which will be sponsored by the Struggle movements which are claimed on behalf of Muslims, but really just for their political objective satisfaction.

    ARMM was the result of negotiation’s skill of Dr. Nur Misuari which then indicated as the failed autonomy region due to the rampant corruption, its will possible if the proposed sub-state or genuine regional autonomy decided to be failed, they will continue to rebel and demand independence from Philippines. However, what happened and will happen at all was not beneficial to the basic need of people, because the Mindanao Muslims and Christians are totally excluded.
    The most important things for Muslims in southern Philippines is how sustainable education continues to be done for the Muslims Ummah, how the government pay equal attention to the Madaris, and beyond that direct or indirect discrimination should be promptly removed. If all of these are well done then the bargaining Position of the Islamic Ummah will be increased, so they can live equally with non-Muslim societies, they can sit and stand together equally as Filipino. This is the true peace that is expected by all.

    Above all, if the sub-state becomes true, then no one can under estimate the ability of Islamic Ummah, because actually there are a lot of well-educated figures in Mindanao. They should be directly involved in the Sub State and not just managed by politicians who tend to be more corruption. Nevertheless everything is returned to GOD

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