ABANTE Mindanao (Abamin) party-list Representative Maximo Rodriguez has called for a congressional inquiry to look into the missing P170 million funds from the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process (OPAPP).
The inquiry should focus on the recovery of the funds as there are no records or documents that showed where and how these funds were spent, Rodriguez told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
Rodriguez, along with brother, Rufus Rodriguez, representative of Cagayan de Oro's second district, filed House Resolution 103, which seeks inquiry into the matter following revelation of former OPAPP Secretary Annabelle Abaya that the funds can't be traced.
"In aid of legislation, the (House of Representatives) committee on good government should conduct inquiry to all concerned, including Abaya and other entities, to shed light on the issue," Maximo said.
The current OPAPP head, Teresita Deles, had earlier said recovering the missing funds was not their top priority. Deles said OPAPP will focus instead on setting up a "good foundation for a just and sustainable peaceful in Mindanao."
Deles said it would be a waste of time and effort to recover the funds considering they do not have any documentation and no additional leads on where the funds went.
It can also be recalled that most of the complaints of the rebel returnees who embraced the mainstream society is the delayed distribution of financial assistance promised to them under the Social Integration Program (SIP) of OPAPP.
For his part, Rodriguez stressed that while achieving peace in Mindanao was important, the recovery of the missing P170 million taxpayers' money should not be put in the backburner.
"On the contrary, this huge amount of money could be used to achieve the main goal of OPAPP, which is to have long lasting peace in Mindanao," he added.