Tomas vows to send allies to jail for misuse of funds-A A +A
Thursday, September 16, 2010
REP. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) vowed to send his allied barangay captains to jail if they are proven to have pocketed funds for government projects.
A team from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) central office is conducting an investigation on the alleged irregularities in the implementation of barangay infrastructure projects. These were funded under the P200-million aid to the barangays, which Osmeña released to barangay captains when he was still mayor.
The DPWH team checked on allegations of substandard and overpriced projects.
“Ako untang ipakita nga makaangkon sila ug dako nga mga proyekto unya nigawas nuon ang mga tinonto, dili ko ganahan ana. If they stole the money, I will run after them and I’ll put them all in jail,” Osmeña said.
This, as barangay captains in north district barangays assured they will follow bidding procedures in the implementation of their projects.
The north district village chiefs are waiting for City Hall to release their P200-million share since they need to implement the project before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) prohibition on the use of funds for public works takes effect on Oct. 18.
In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, Hipodromo Barangay Captain Petronillo Fat assured they will do transactions in good faith.
“We will follow the bidding process because when COA (Commission on Audit) conducts a post- audit, we will have to answer them,” he said.
Busay Barangay Captain Eliodoro Sanchez said they need to protect their reputation.
“If ma-release na ang kwarta, we will follow the bidding process kay ang dungog sa barangay ra man pud ang madaut kung magbinuang ka,” he said.
If the funds will be released for the north district barangays, Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias, who heads the council committee on infrastructure, said they will closely monitor the projects to avoid fund misuse.
“We already had a bad experience before so we don’t want to do the same. We are going to strictly follow now the guidelines of the bids and awards committee. Atong i-monitor sila ug tudluan sila sa sakto nga proceso,” Cabarrubias said.
Despite the controversies hounding his allies, Osmeña said he has no plans to field candidates against them in the barangay elections.
Osmeña said his priority is to seek the truth and to ensure public funds are spent properly.
“I don’t care about the coming barangay election. The election won’t exempt them from going to jail if they stole the money,” Osmeña said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 16, 2010.