SEN. TRILLANES IS TOP SPENDER IN 2011 - COA / TRILLANES: AUDIT 'PARTIAL AND MISLEADING'

MANILA, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Christina Mendez - Antonio Trillanes IV (photo) was the biggest spender among senators in 2011, a Commission of Audit (COA) report showed.

Trillanes spent P54.96 million that included P27.62 million for office expenses and P27.34 million for expenses incurred while serving as chairman of several Senate committees.

The itemized list of expenses incurred by each senator in 2011 showed that Trillanes spent P27.62 million for office operations that included P16.76 million for the salaries and benefits of his staff, P6.74 million for maintenance and other expenses, and P77,701 for capital outlay.

A separate report that detailed the expenses of Senate committees also showed that Trillanes incurred expenses for his committees totaling to P27.34 million.

The Senate had recently submitted to the COA the liquidation report and other documents of the expenses of the senators that covered the period January to Dec. 31, 2011.

“He (Trillanes) is the biggest spender in 2011. His expenses reached to almost P 55 million, when other senators received and spent an average of P40 million-plus each in the same year,” a source told The STAR.

Trillanes chairs the Senate committees on amateur sports competitiveness, and on civil service and government reorganization.

There are 39 permanent committees in the Senate, which is different from the 35 congressional ad hoc or oversight committees that also get separate budgets ranging from P5 million to as much as P37 million a year.

Whether a senator gets one or many regular committees, he or she would have the same budget. It is a different case for those who handle the oversight committees, Senate auditors and budget officers explained.

Top spenders

After Trillanes, Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada was second with P52.7 million that included P25.2 million in office expenses and P27.5 million for his committee chairmanships.

Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. came in third with P49.82 million that included P22.88 million in office expenses and P26.94 million for committee expenses.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. was fourth highest spender with P49.2 million including P24.6 million for office expenses and P24.6 million for committee expenses.

From number 20 in the list when he entered office in 2010, Marcos was the fourth biggest spender in 2011.

In fifth spot was Sen. Francis Escudero with P48.6 million including P22.4 million for office expenses and P26.2 million for committees.

Sen. Gregorio Honasan had total expenses worth P47.1 million that included P21 million office expenses and P26.21 million on committees.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan ranked 7th in terms of expenses with P46.87 million, including P25.2 million for office expenses and P21.66 million spent on committees.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III spent P46 million with P21 million office expenses and P25 million for committees.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s expenses reached P46.58 million, with P22.8 million used for his office and P23.78 million for committees.

State auditors explained that Enrile and other officers such as the Senate president pro-tempore, majority and minority leaders have higher budget, being officers of the Senate.

Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano spent P44.8 million including P22.2 million for his office and P22.5 million for his committees.

Senator Loren Legarda (P44.12 million in office and committee expenses), Lito Lapid (P43.5 million), Ralph Recto (42.3 million), Pia Cayetano (P42.03million), Edgardo Angara, Teofisto Guingona III and Miriam Defensor-Santiago incurred about P41 million each, followed by Senators Sergio Osmeña III and Panfilo Lacson with P37 million each.

Senators Franklin Drilon, Joker Arroyo and Aquilino Pimentel III’s office and committee expenses ranged from P20 million to P35 million.

Drilon’s total expenses totaled P34.9 million, including P18.2 million for office expenses and P16.7 million for his committees.

Arroyo incurred P17.11 million for his office expenses and P14.7 million as committee expenses.

Pimentel, on the other hand, spent only P9 million on his office and nearly P11 million on his committees.

Former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, who resigned from the Senate in 2011, incurred P11.12 million in office expenses and P12.83 million on committees or a total of P23.9 million. With Michael Punongbayan

Trillanes says COA report 'partial and misleading' By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated February 4, 2013 - 6:06pm


Senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV. SENATE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday said that the Commission on Audit's (COA) report on the senators' 2011 spending is "partial and misleading."

Trillantes said the COA report should have included oversight committee expenses to show the public that he is among those with the smallest expenditure.

The COA report said that Trillanes' office spent P54.96 million in 2011.

"Unlike other senators handling multiple oversight committees, I handle only the Senate Select Oversight Committee on Government Procurement. This is not shown in the released COA report," Trillanes said in a statement.

He added that the report failed to include the Senate members' realigned Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) from unfilled plantilla positions and the controversial additional funds from Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's office.

"If we are going to factor this in, it will show that I am also among those with the smallest expenditure," Trillanes, who hopes to be reelected to the Senate this year, said.

The senator also justified his office's expenses which amounted to P27.62 million covering his staff's salaries and benefits, capital outlay and maintenance expenses.

"Based on the figures shown in the yearly COA reports, most of my expenditures are categorized under the office expenses, which is due to the fact that I have the most number of employees. It is based on the quota given to my office and I simply filled it up," he said, adding that such expenses are within the limit set by law.

The former Navy lieutenant also criticized news reports citing him as the top spender and urged media practitioners to release the full audit report.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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