Drilon: Comelec can be held liable for technical malversation-A A +A
Sunday, September 2, 2012
MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) can be prosecuted for technical malversation after the poll body used its savings to purchase a P1.19-billion lot without the approval of Congress, a senator said.
Senator Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, said Comelec cannot invoke its fiscal autonomy as a constitutional body and use its savings to purchase land and building without securing the authorization of Congress.
Comelec has already made an initial payment of P250 million for the lot located along Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City. The property is for the agency's new headquarters.
"There appears to be a gross violation of the Constitution on the part of the Comelec when they decided to use their P3.5 billion savings to purchase a piece of land worth P1,188,865,295.82. Comelec's position is totally wrong," Drilon said.
The senator stressed that the Comelec can only use its savings to augment funding for projects that exist in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or which the Congress has previously authorized.
"There is no authority of whatsoever under the 2012 General Appropriations Act for Comelec to purchase land for a building. That is the role of Congress, the role of Congress is to appropriate to specific items," Drilon said.
"In other words, they became Congress by themselves," he added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)