Press Release
January 23, 2013


Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III on Wednesday announced that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will get into the bottom of alleged anomalies in the implementation of the Palawan projects funded by the Malampaya royalty.

"As chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, I have personally filed a resolution to pursue this investigation because from the initial set of the pieces of evidence submitted to us, it appears that there is basis for the conduct of an inquiry to validate the truthfulness of the various allegations made. We should answer the questions on whether the huge amounts of money were used to further the development in Palawan, or were they used to benefit a few government officials? We will leave no stones unturned in this investigation," he said.

The investigation will kick off on January 24, 2013, Thursday and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will invite some government officials, non-government organizations (NGOs), and advocates pushing for the probe in the Malampaya fund projects.

Based on the Commission on Audit report on May 29, 2012, the Provincial Government of Palawan has P1.782 billion infrastructure projects funded from its share in the Malampaya royalty.

The COA report cited that in the Statements of Work Accomplishments (SWAs), it found discrepancies between the reported project accomplishments and the actual accomplishments during ocular inspections in 52 projects covered by 38 contracts.

"Based on COA report, the discrepancy is estimated to be at about P87.5 million. We want to find out what happened to these funds, and who are the perpetrators of this alleged mess. Government officials should be held accountable with the people's money," Sen. Guingona said.

The COA report emphasized that the deficiencies and discrepancies in the projects funded by Malampaya royalties are mainly due to bloated reported accomplishments or under delivery of items of works but already claimed for payment costing P59.26 million. The remaining discrepancies are due to absence of required documents to warrant evaluation of reported accomplishment.

"Since payments were made by the Provincial Government of Palawan based on the SWAs, it is deemed that advance payments were made, which is prohibited under Section 88 of Presidential Decree 1445, otherwise known as the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines. It is clearly prejudicial to the interest of the government," Sen. Guingona added.

The alleged anomalies in the implementation and payments of projects using Malampaya funds are persistently being questioned by non-government organizations (NGOs) and other civil society advocates.

The continuous exposes on the alleged irregularities in the implementation of the various projects funded by the Malampaya royalties in Palawan even linked to the death of Doctor Gerry Ortega. His death stirs speculations that it was due to his involvement in disclosing the alleged anomalies in the disbursement of government's money.

A good governance advocate, Sen. Guingona said that government officials should be transparent and held accountable in using the people's money. He added that people should not be gagged or threatened on criticizing government officials and their projects, especially if there are clear evidences of anomalies

News Latest News Feed