^

Headlines

Ermita: Malampaya fund disbursements in 2009 aboveboard

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Former executive secretary Eduardo Ermita insisted  yesterday that the Malampaya fund disbursements for disaster relief and rehabilitation under the Arroyo administration in 2009 were aboveboard.

Speaking to The STAR, Ermita said the release of the P900 million was upon the request of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in the aftermath of the devastation of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

“I would not have any idea how the implementing agencies would have used funds authorized for release by the president,” he said.

The DAR was among the agencies that submitted funding requirements to Malacañang for rehabilitation work, he added.

Ermita said it was unfortunate that he was included in the plunder complaint when he was just following legitimate orders.

Relaying presidential instructions to the concerned Cabinet official was part of his many duties as executive secretary, he added.

Ermita did not say whether it was part of what many see as persecution of those identified with the previous administration.             â€œMaybe because I issued a memo authorizing the release of funds, so they included me,” he said.          

Ermita said he had authorized then Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. to use a portion of the fund for the areas affected by the calamities.         

Andaya then issued the necessary Special Allotment Release Order to the DAR with instructions that the fund be “solely for the purposes indicated,” and disbursements shall be made “in accordance with existing budgeting, accounting and auditing rules and regulations,” he added.          

Andaya said the releases were covered by instructions based on what had been agreed or approved in the Cabinet meeting.

“As DBM chief, you always presume that all funding requirements are aboveboard – always with the presumption of regularity,” he said. 

“The only guidance that you could give to the people or agencies entrusted with the people’s money is that they should follow all budgeting, accounting and auditing rules and, of course, the procurement law – which I followed to the letter.”

ANDAYA

BUDGET SECRETARY ROLANDO ANDAYA JR.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM

EDUARDO ERMITA

ERMITA

MALACA

SPECIAL ALLOTMENT RELEASE ORDER

TYPHOONS ONDOY AND PEPENG

  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with