Press Release
March 12, 2010


Liberal Party standard bearer Sen. Noynoy Aquino on Friday called for vigilance against possible sweetheart power deals and misuse of funds for election purposes, now that President Arroyo has declared a state of calamity over Mindanao to deal with a power crisis there.

Aquino said that while it is Arroyo's prerogative to declare a state of calamity, there should be strict monitoring of the funds to be spent to ease the power shortage and mitigate the impact of El Nino in the island.

"May mga emergency purchases kaliwa't kanan na mangyayari, mukhang may makikinabang sa kabalbalan," he said in a press conference in Surigao City.

"This government has shown its propensity to divert funds for political purposes. The people must make sure that the unscrupulous do not succeed this time," Aquino said.

The state of calamity allows local government units to tap five percent of their budgets -- an estimated P3.4 billion of Mindanao's internal revenue allotment (IRA) of P68.9 billion in 2009. Under a state of calamity, these funds will not be subject to bidding or audit.

According to the Mindanao Energy Power Alliance, if El Niño worsens, the whole Agus plant will be shut down in 45 days, which will cause the entire Mindanao grid to collapse.

Aquino also bewailed the government's failure to prepare for the power crisis which had been projected as early as 10 years ago.

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