Ombudsman probe uncovers 'oil spill fund' anomaly in Guimaras
The Fact-Finding Investigation of the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas on millions in feared government losses of the Oil Spill fund has now dragged a seemingly “all-star cast” of characters cum subjects of inquiry.
With some P10 million in Presidential assistance as center of the concern, The News Today (TNT) learned that an extensive “first-hand” report has already been submitted. In it, a TNT source said, were names of the suspected erring government personalities in the employ of the Guimaras Provincial Government.
Identities were not disclosed though however the source gave “details” that one is among the trusted men of the governor. The others are senior officials of government agencies primarily involved in the handling and management of the oil spill tragedy alongside the millions in aid that poured in thereafter.
Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol when asked for update confirmed the investigation saying no less than Malacañang wanted answers. As such, as soon as he got the call from the Office of the President, Apostol said he gave out the directive for local graft investigators to start the fact-finding.
TNT in a separate follow-up learned of the supposed “suspects’ list” from one of the Guimaras locals privy to the now questioned handling of the Oil Spill fund.
“We don’t know where these millions are… gin-abuso gid sang husto,” the source said while revealing barrage of complaints from barangay officials and beneficiaries of livelihood projects.
Among those awaiting Ombudsman validation were information that unqualified suppliers were allowed direct contracting of the supply for hog fattening program. There was also the reported purchase of at least 7,000 heads of chicken that like the pigs bought and delivered, all died within weeks.
One woman supplier, the Ombudsman was told, even bragged about her advance delivery even if no bidding was yet scheduled.
“We knew it was clearly wrong and illegal but someone very close to the governor said it is allowed or that it should be allowed,” the source added.
Most of the Guimaras officials subject of the inquiry had direct participation on alleviation measures supposedly in place and put to action by the Guimaras Provincial Government after the Oil Spill tragedy in August 2006.