UNA ‘desperate’ for implicating Duterte in funds misuse—spokesman

Mar. 18, 2016

TAGUM CITY — The camp of presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte branded as “desperate” the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) move to implicate Duterte in an alleged 2014 fund misuse.

“It’s a pity that the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay is now attempting to paint everyone black out of its desperation to escape the burning allegations of massive corruption hurled against the UNA standard bearer,” Peter Laviña, spokesperson of Duterte, said on Friday, March 18.

“We see UNA desperately trying to muddle and confuse the public as it evades the allegations of corruption hounding VP Binay right now,” said Laviña.

Laviña’s statement came after the camp of Vice President Binay implicated Duterte in what he calls a “rehashed” 2015 Commission on Audit (COA) report for the misuse of P46 million Special Education Fund (SEF) back in 2014.

According to Laviña, education fund issued was answered last year. “There is nothing new here. This is an old information made to appear fresh. I would say, this is a worthless piece of information. But, really, nice try.”

“Based on the information I received from the Department of Education, the questioned funds were used for the promotion of physical education programs, which is allowed under the law,” Laviña stressed.

The camp of Duterte cited Republic Act 5447, which created the SEF, pointing out that “the fund shall be used to improve school facilities, print and buy books, pay salaries of teachers, grant scholarships, and promote physical education programs.”

“The funds were used to send athletes and their coaches to sporting events across the country,” said Laviña. “These programs are basically designed to promote physical education programs. What’s wrong with that?”

If the spending was anomalous, he said, cases would have been surely filed against city officials, including Duterte. “But unlike Binay who is saddled with corruption cases, nothing was filed against Duterte.”

In the recent Pulse Asia Survey held from March 1 to 6, Duterte got 24 percent of the respondents’ approval, following presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe who got, 28 percent. Duterte overtakes Binay who shared third place with Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II. Binay got 21 percent and Roxas got 20 percent. (davaotoday.com)

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