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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, July 2, 2016
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Release of P42M
check questioned

The transition team headed by Modesto Sa-onoy is questioning the issuance by the previous administration of a check amounting to about P42 million to a supplier for the K to 12 program speech laboratory for the Department of Education in Bacolod City.

Sa-onoy said the check issued on June 29 to Nikka Trading was already released and received by the payee. If they had accepted the amount this would have gone through the bank.

It would have been encashed if not for one missing and final decision which is the “notice to allow the check,” he said.

Sa-onoy said former City Accountant Ed Ravena found this out and the bank was not given clearance to honor the check.

Bacolod Councilor Caesar Distrito said the project was not accepted by the DepEd based on information he received. He hopes the City Council and incoming committees in charge of it will take care of the investigation as to the qualifications of the supplier, and why was there a “midnight haste” in the release of the check.

He said P42 million is about 80 plus classrooms at P500,000 or at least a minimum of 40 classrooms, for one speech lab. So there is wrong prioritization.

Distrito said they will look into it once they get all the necessary information. This did pass through the Sanggunian because it came from the Special Education Fund.

Sa-onoy said there is a certification by the supplier that by May 11 they had fully delivered all the equipments and there was a receipt issued by the General Services Office. It was signed received by the GSO but the property custodian did not receive it, he said


Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said this may the biggest and most scandalous “midnight check” in history. Considering that this is a case where there is smoke, they will surely take a very hard look at this. On the basis of the information, it is very suspicious, he said.

Meanwhile, Sa-onoy said they did not also accept the turnover of the inventory of properties from the transition team of former Mayor Monico Puentevella because the inventory was dated Dec. 31, 2015. So they only received the report but cannot accept the data.

He reiterated that the P892 million they allegedly left is not accurate since there were transactions made after June 28. He was just given documents that showed that the City Treasurer issued over P38 million as of June 30.

There are still outstanding checks so they do not know the exact financial status unless they have the full inspection of books done, he added.

Sa-onoy said there are many other documents not turned over to them. So, as far as they are concerned, the turnover was a total failure. Because they refused to accept the few records turned over to them they will not be accountable for anything, he said.

So they have a team checking all of the documents submitted, some of them illegal, he said.

Sa-onoy said there were some offices at the government center that were still closed as of yesterday and they do not know what is in there. The DILG will submit a report on this.

Leonardia said this may just be the tip of the iceberg because they have many other documents to look into.

The Secretary to the Mayor has observed that the Mayor's Office was practically stripped of everything. What was left was only one computer and one telephone, he said.*CGS



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