SHARON SAYS KIKO 'PORK' WELL-ACCOUNTED FOR; COA SAYS OTHERWISE
 


Sharon and Former Senator Francis Pangilinan

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Camille Diola - Actress Sharon Cuneta cleared her husband, former Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, from those asking whether he misused his funds as legislator.

"His [pork barrel] was all well-accounted for, napunta sa lahat [nang] dapat puntahan," Cuneta said on her Twitter account Thursday night.

The Commission on Audit (COA), meanwhile, spotted some questionable transactions and projects that were funded with Pangilinan's Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel from 2007 to 2009.

In a 462-page special report, the COA said that several Quezon City-based projects partly funded with Pangilinan's PDAF do not have documentary support and have been transacted questionably.

The report said that P7.3 million from Pangilinan's PDAF were used for the procurement of "barangay office equipment" for at least 17 barangays in Quezon City. The other funds came from former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (P100,000) and former Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman (P904,000).

It said that the procurement project was not supported by proper documents, the purchase of the materials lacked official receipts or proofs of bidding and the "office equipment may also be considered not among those eligible for funding under PDAF."

Another P1.063 million of Pangilinan's pork was used to buy other supposed needs of a barangay (still in Quezon City) such as an Apple Macbook laptop, a Nikon DSLR camera, a laminating machine, Sharp DVD player, Sony digital cameras, 19" Samsung LCD monitor among others.

Upon auditing, the COA said that the items were either unaccounted, missing or defective, as seen in photographs of the items.

Superjie Trading, a supplier which COA deemed "not legally nor physically existing," was paid P186,000 of Pangilinan's PDAF. While the business was registered from 2008 to 2009, it operated without a business permit.

The former senator also gave P2-million for construction projects for barangay operations were neither announced to the public for the sake of transparency nor proven with project documents such as invitations to bid, contract agreements and receipts.

The said receiving barangays such as South Triangle and Kamuning also did not release disbursement vouchers proving projects such as repair of roads, building of public toilets and concreting, COA said.

Pangilinan similarly spent P599,000 for a feeding program and distribution of medicines that might have not occurred.

"These were not supported with ... bid documents, project plans, or any document authorizing the conduct of activities and proof of implementation indicating the venue, activities undertaken, beneficiaries, pictures of activities, participating partners, date conducted," COA said.

A livelihood project also funded with Pangilinan's PDAF in Batasan Hills had no proof of implementation. The barangay also did not express the need for Pangilinan's assistance, the report noted.

Pangilinan's term as a senator ended last June.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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