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Sunday, July 23, 2006

No frills, no dubious deals as Cabatuan passes govt audit


The Municipality of Cabatuan stands thus far as amongst Iloilo towns with seemingly negligible findings in an audit conducted by the Commission on Audit (COA).

With total income for the past year pegged at nearly P46 million, the figure stands to be 14.18% higher than the targeted collections of P40 million. And although local income and business income decreased by about P1 million altogether, government auditors validated the 4.38% increase courtesy of permits and licenses, service income and some P2.9 million in other income.

As such, the audit team recognized the accelerated social and economic development in said town with projects realized placed at over P4 million in the previous year.

Further findings saw none of multi-million in questioned government expense or hundreds of thousands in irregular and illegal transactions. What the COA team discovered were 'minimal' concerns.

For instance, attention of Mayor Ramon Yee was called on the town's 11 service vehicles that have defective odometer and speedometer. While at it, COA wants Cabatuan to have those kept in "adequate garage."

The Municipal Accountant was also reminded to prepare and submit regular monthly bank statements "to attain a timely financial reporting."

The COA also wanted an end of the travel expenses of teachers and education personnel charged to the town's Special Education Fund. However, government auditors did not state the total amount utilized other than recommending that the Local School Board prioritize expenses within the limits and priorities set by law.

Most 'serious' of the COA findings was the procurement and custody of semi-expendable supplies delegated to only one personnel contrary to law. However, no specifics were provided in terms of amount involved.

"Delegation of authority to only one personnel to perform various functions could possibly lead to commission of irregularities which would cause losses, errors or wastage in the operation of the municipality. The absence of an effective internal control system could result in poor management and of no value in the program of development," COA stated.

To note, only three audit recommendations were made by the Commission in the previous year's audit where to date, two were partially implemented and one fully implemented.

"There is a reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free of material misstatements and were prepared in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations and in conformity with generally accepted state accounting principles," COA Team Leader, Ana Rose Cynthia Lebrilla wrote.

Friday, July 14, 2006

New Iloilo airport dev't project 75% completed


by ES Subong
Cabatuan, Iloilo (13 July) -- Engr. Manuel Lauden, Deputy Project Manager for the New Iloilo Airport Development Project (NIADP) and Engr. Celso de la Cruz, Deputy Project Manager for Phil-Japan Airport Consultants, Inc. said three-fourths of the civil works, building works, utility works and other types of works at the site of the Iloilo Airport of international standards are already undertaken to date.

In an on-site briefing with Deputy Director General Leo Omoso of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and Mrs Nena S. Magalona, PIA-AMO 6 Operations In-charge, Engr. Lauden said that the new Iloilo airport is comparatively the best and the earliest ever constructed outside of Metro Manila.

Engr. Lauden added that the new airport is the first to have modern, latest technology belonging to Category F as determined by the International Civil Aviation (ICA) Organization. This means the new Iloilo airport is accredited as a qualifier for international standards.

Meanwhile, Engr. De la Cruz said that almost all equipment and facilities are already on hand, some were installed for commissioning before the year ends. These equipment and facilities will be tested starting December, while the buildings are undergoing rigid finishing touches, which takes quite sometime, to ensure quality.

He said work continues without delay, except for constraints like the bad weather condition and some social aspects of operation, the latter, relatively manageable.

The on-site briefing included an ocular view of the facilities and features of the airport complex.
The three-storey passenger terminal, about 12, 000 sq. meter in floor area, houses the baggage conveyor on the first floor, the check in area and the airline offices on the second floor and the pre-departure area on the third, and the arrival area along the corridors that lead to the first floor.

The airport apron can accommodate six aircrafts simultaneously parking at a time.
Other features besides the standard civil works and building works are the air navigation systems, that include a radar area which can easily determine the condition of flying aircrafts, including those in distress.

The complex has a six-hectare regulating pond, bigger than the Burnham Park in Baguio, that can hold even a year's continuous downpour, hence, not flood the airport runway. Engr. Lauden said the water passes through a treatment plant, which can augur well for the area to become a livelihood center. The water in the pond will also be pumped out for irrigation purposes.

On the other hand, PIA Deputy Director General Leo Omoso said that it is President Gloria Arroyo's prime concern that the Central Philippines, which includes Western Visayas, become a leading mega region as far as tourism, investments and technology are concerned.

"The new Iloilo airport when it becomes fully operational, is the key to many great opportunities for unprecedented growth in Iloilo," Omoso said. Iloilo Governor Niel Tupas, Sr. said that the construction of the new Iloilo airport will see to the development of an expanded livelihood source other than farming for many people.

Further, Tupas said, it will greatly promote tourism and investments, and also bring about social benefits and uplift the dignity and pride of the Ilonggos for the prestige the Iloilo airport of international standards will bring.

The implementation of the NIADP is spearheaded by the Department of Transportation and Communication, whose strategy of developing the Iloilo Airport has become a national development thrust. (PIA 6)

Ex-pug turned 'Magdalo' soldier captured in raid


THE father of a captured Navy lieutenant and former lightweight contender expressed shock over reports that his son was among those "Magdalo" rebel soldiers accused of plotting to blow up the Batasan Complex where President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is scheduled to deliver her State of the Nation Address (Sona) next week.

Ramon Sadava, 60, said he could not believe that his eldest son, Lieutenant Senior Grade Kiram Sadava, was among those "fugitive" junior officers presented to the media last Friday by PNP Director General Oscar Calderon, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Generoso Senga, and Army chief Lieutenant General Hermogenes Esperon after their capture in a raid in Quezon City.

"My son cannot do that (act of resorting to violence) although we cannot read what was in his mind," said Sadava, security guard of the Cabatuan Comprehensive High School in Cabatuan, Iloilo.

Sadava and his younger brother, Shoji, turned pro in April 1995 under the Vidal Boxing Stable managed by Allan Vidal after a sterling record in the amateur ranks. He racked up 5 wins and 1 loss with 4 knockouts while Shoji had 8 wins, 3 losses and 4 knockouts.

Before he left professional boxing in 1998 to join the military service, Sadava shocked Gary Ordoñez of the Cubao-based Garcia Boxing Stable underneath the OPBF featherwight title defense of champion Cris Saguid at the Araneta Colesium.

Their former coach, Alfredo Amistoso Sr., said Kiram could have been a victim of frame-up or envy in the military service. "They should not handcuff him because he is not a bad person," appealed Amistoso.

Ramon said the last time he and his son met was some three years ago when the soldier visited them in their house Barangay Ayong, Cabatuan.

"We thought that he was well and doing fine with his job as a soldier. When I learned that he was arrested, I was shocked," said Ramon. Ramon, a part-time referee in amateur boxing, described his 32-year-old son as "family-oriented who cannot even harm a fly."

"He is a principled man and nobody can dictate him what to do now since he is already grown-up," Ramon stressed. Sadava is reportedly an expert in explosives and is married with two children now living in Palawan.

His mother, Estelita Tuares-Sadava of Barangay Tiring, Cabatuan, is a public school teacher.

Sadava was arrested together with Captain Nathaniel Rabonza, 1st Lieutenant Soony Sarmiento and Patricio Bumidang Jr., 2nd Lieutenant Angelbert Gay and Aldrin Baldonado, who are all from the Army, during a raid conducted by members of an elite strike force of the Presidential Anti-Crime and Response (Pacer) unit, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Intelligence and Security Group of the Philippine Army on a two-story, stone house on No. 34 Adler St., Fil-Invest 2, Barangay Batasan Hills, Quezon City.

Lawyer Jose Christopher "Kit" Belmonte was also arrested.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Tupas, Capadosa guilty of graft

from Panay News 6/24/06

ILOILO City – The Provincial Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) here found Gov. Niel Tupas and Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Cecilia Capadosa guilty of five counts of malversation of public funds over alleged ghost seminars and trainings of the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines (PBMLP) amounting to P506,250.

The same office also dismissed the administrative complaint filed by People’s Graftwatch of Iloilo against four Capitol executives, namely -- Provincial Treasurer Melba Sullivan, Provincial Budget Officer Elina Lim, Provincial Accountant Lyd Tupas and Benjamin Dosado, the governor’s aid.

The case against them for alleged malverastion and falsification of public funds and violation of RA Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) was dismissed by Provincial Prosecutor Bernabe Dusaban who also found Gov. Tupas and SP member Capadosa guilty.

Graftwatch members lawyers Virgilio Sindico, Heptie Correa and Nicolas Sian Monteblanco were the ones who filed last year the administrative complaint against the above respondents.

They alleged that Tupas erred in releasing P506,250 for “ghost and fictitious” financial assistance to the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines for the conduct of training programs.

The anti-graft group dragged Capadosa into the complaint because the latter “made herself the claimant-PBLLP treasurer in the disbursement check and issued a computerized receipt knowing the league had no accounts with any bank and the purpose of training was not existing.”On the other hand, Graftwatch said, Lim “certified the existence of the appropriation.” Likewise, the graftwatch claimed Lyd Tupas attested to the completeness and property of the supporting documents.

On the other hand, the Graftwatch said that Dosado “affixed his signature on the vouchers” right below the signature of Gov. Tupas.”

In the meantime, the Graftwatch claimed that Sullivan, being the provincial treasurer, “approved the disbursement (of funds) even without official proof of the holding of the supposed seminars.”

Graftwatch claimed the “…acts of each respondent show conspiracy, collusion and confabulation among themselves to commit dishonesty.”

The P506,250 fund was part of the P15-million Annual Development Plan and the Annual Investment Development Plan of Iloilo province for the year 2004. The Provincial Board approved its release last December 16, 2005 thru SP Resolution No. 2005-158.
Graftwatch members sent their complaint-letter dated July 30, 2005 to Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez. Thus, Gonzalez created a five-man panel to probe the accused based on Department Order No.502.

He named Provincial Prosecutor Bernabe Dusaban as head of the investigating panel and Senior State Prosecutor Leo Dacera as vice-chairman.1st Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Jamie Umpa, Assistant State Prosecutor Virgilio Garcia and Senior State Prosecutor Edwin Dayog served as members.

Graftwatch seeks the suspension of the four provincial officials while the case is being investigated by the Ombudsman.


In a four-page Resolution, the Court ruled that certainly Gov. Tupas and Sullivan authorized and approved the release of P P506,250 purportedly as financial assistance to PBMLP for the holding of training seminars despite having no sufficient documents.

“The reasonable conclusion that can be drawn therefrom is that the supposed training seminars were actually fictitious. The certification issued by the Adminsitrative Officer does not prove that the existence of the supposed training seminars for which the questioned disbursement were made,” part of the court ruling states.

The Court noted that Sullivan, Lim and Lyd Tupas have affixed their respective signatures in the vouchers “which led to the issuance of the checks..”

Certainly, the Court added that Gov. Tupas and Capadosa were the “beneficiaries” of the disbursed public funds.
The Court, however, said it couldn’t directly substantiate the fact that Sullivan, Lim and Lyd Tupas conspired with the governor and Capadosa “to fraud the government of its money.”

The Court ended it could not establish that Dosado really conspired with the two guilty public officials to fraud the government.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tupas, Yee friends no more?

How true is the report of Payos that Gov. Tupas will no longer support Mayor Yee in the next elections? This was due to talks that Yee has signed up already with the camp of Rep. Art Defensor and that Tupas is now pushing either Councilor Rafaela Jiloca or Vice Mayor Ronilo Caspe to run against Yee. And the governor is always playing tennis with the Cabatuan 2000 group, the foremost critic of Yee. This would be very exciting! :)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hospital chief to resign amid immorality issue

from: Sunstar Iloilo 5/30/06

THE chief of the Ramon Tabiana Memorial Hospital (RTMH) wanted to resign for good amid allegations of immorality while performing his job, Governor Niel D. Tupas Sr. said Monday.

In an interview over Aksyon Radyo Monday , Tupas said hospital chief, Dr. George Acepcion has informed him of this and that the resignation will take place effective June 15.

Tupas said Acepcion wanted to avoid administrative charges that might be filed against him after his 60 personnel in the same public hospital filed a complaint of immorality before the office of the Governor in March this year.

Acepcion, who is married, was accused of committing immoral acts while performing his duty by involving himself in a relationship with a job hired nurse in the same hospital.

Tupas, after receiving the same complaint tasked the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) headed by chief Mario Nillos to form a fact-finding committee to conduct investigations as to the same allegations and make its recommendations. The PPDO however, has not yet finished its probe for almost three months now.

Tupas said after approving the said resignation, an OIC will also be appointed for the hospital's good.

Meanwhile, accused of mismanagement in Iloilo Provincial Hospital (IPH) in Pototan, Dr. Noel Icamina according to reports is retiring this August 30 while the Provincial Legal Office is yet to make its final recommendations on the allegations that the former committed mismanagement in IPH.

Icamina was investigated on allegations of mismanagement after 24 of his personnel accused him so, and filed a complaint to the Office of the Governor February this year.

Nillos was initially tasked to make a team and make a fact finding on this.

After more than 15 working days, the team finished its report convicting Icamina of mismanagement and recommended to file administrative charges versus Icamina.

The Provincial Legal Office then was ordered by Tupas to find if there is a probable cause to file the same charge. However, until now it has not publicized a report.

from: Sunstar Iloilo 5/30/06


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