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No anomalies in use of allocation

02:10 AM May 22, 2015

We write to air the side of Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo I, who is on the list of 49 lawmakers whose use of funds from the Priority Development Assistance Fund and Disbursement Acceleration Program are allegedly under question, based on the 2013 COA Annual Audit Report on the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) (“COA links 49 solons to new pork, DAP scam,” Front Page, 5/12/15).

We confirm that P1 million of Representative Gunigundo’s PDAF was allocated to the NCMF in 2013 and the NGO tapped to implement the project was Commoners Foundation Inc. with head office in Kajzzelle Building, Roxas Avenue Extension, Kalibo, Aklan.

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We deny any anomaly or irregularity in the use of taxpayer money.

It is unfortunate that part of the report, subtitled “Nonexistent NGOs,” on Page A6 of the same Inquirer issue, refers to Commoners Foundation as one of three NGOs that were not visited by the audit team “due to distance and safety of the team.” Readers are given the impression that it is a nonexistent NGO.

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The actual COA report on the Results of Inspection on the existence of NGOs/POs only mentions that Commoners Foundation was “not inspected by the Audit Team.” The Commission on Audit never states that it is a nonexistent NGO. The Inquirer has no tangible basis to claim that it is nonexistent.

Let me emphasize that the 2013 COA report cited as basis of the news article is very silent on any irregularity about how the funds for the second district of Valenzuela were spent. Annex F (Schedule of Post Audit Liquidation) of the COA report shows that the livelihood seminar/workshop implemented by Commoners Foundation in Valenzuela City is not on the list. This means that the liquidation report submitted to the NCMF by Commoners Foundation was found by the COA to be in order and in compliance with all the requirements needed for liquidation.

Abul Ali, president of Valenzuela Muslim Traders Association, issued a certification (copy attached—Ed.) dated April 29, 2014, attesting to the actual implementation of the livelihood seminar/workshop on fancy jewelry and dried fish-making, which was participated in by our Muslim brothers and sisters who are residents of Barangay Karuhatan and Paso de Blas, Valenzuela City.

The livelihood seminar/workshop was conducted on July 10-11, 2013, at the barangay hall of Barangay Maysan, Valenzuela City, in the presence of Meneira M. Ismael, executive assistant, Office of the Secretary of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (photographs taken during the workshop seminar attached—Ed.).

Representative Gunigundo firmly believes in the constitutional principle that public office is a public trust. He is always mindful of his accountability to the people who expect that public funds are spent in a prudent manner in accordance with law.

—ALEJANDRO V. SANCHEZ, chief of staff, Office of Magtanggol T. Gunigundo I

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TAGS: COA, Magtanggol Gunigundo, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, PDAF
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