THE One Cebu Party asked the Commission on Audit (COA) yesterday to investigate the reported release of checks worth P1 million for barangays in Cebu, particularly in Toledo City and the third district towns.
The letter-request was sent to COA 7 Director Alicia M. Malquisto by lawyer Mel Abnir G. Amadora, on behalf of his client, One Cebu.
Amadora said that some barangay captains told reporters that they were instructed to retain P250,000 of the amount for Clean and Green Project, and give back the P750,000 to the men of Gov. Hilario Davide III.
The alleged P750,000 demand was made public after some barangay officials expressed fear that they might go to jail if somebody files charges against them, as it would appear to be a ghost project for campaign funds. The barangay officials, who requested anonimity, said that they are ready to come out in the open at a proper time.
Amadora said Cebu Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera had said she has not heard of such a project. But Davide admitted in newspapers the existence of the project Gasa sa Barangays.
“We would like to request your office to investigate the transaction. We received a report that this was not covered by an authority from the Provincial Government,” Amadora told Malquisto.
Amadora urged COA to look into where the money was charged and if the release of the amount or implementation of the project during the height of the campaign season is allowed.
“As guardians of the government’s money, we respectfully request COA to scrutinize and provide answers to the many questions hounding the Gasa sa Barangays project,” Amadora said.
“We are kindly appealing for your good office to conduct an investigation on the matter on what could be a multi-million scam and to prevent a possible misuse of government funds. Your immediate and appropriate action on the matter will be highly appreciated,” Amadora said.
Davide, in an earlier interview, admitted having released P1 million to each barangay-beneficiary to clean the communities and prevent dengue.
However, Davide denied that Capitol officials received commissions.
The governor said he will conduct an investigation on the matter.