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P22 Million Intelligence Fund Used by City Hall?
« on: April 23, 2007, 12:29:28 PM »
Published in the Bohol Chronicle

Tagbilaran City - Former city mayor Joe Torralba's camp is questioning the alleged P22.8-million intelligence fund used during the 3-year incumbency of City Mayor Dan Lim.

In a press statement released by the Torralba-Veloso camp, they said that in the interest of transparency, the public should be given an accounting of the said amount which was withdrawn from January 2005 to March 16, this year.

Mayor Lim, for his part, dismissed the allegations of misuse of the intelligence fund raised by the Torralba camp.

"If indeed this amount is true, I wonder how it passed the Sangguniang Panlungsod that includes Betty Torralba, Toto Veloso, Archie Sarmiento, Dackie Abellana, Lucio Balbin and Edi Borja without any opposition," Mayor Lim said.

While intelligence funds are confidential in nature, Torralba's group alleged that the P800,000 intelligence fund during the time of former mayor Torralba pales in comparison with the P5-million withdrawn by Mayor Lim in one day, in July 25, 2005, that was likewise charged to the intelligence fund account.

Torralba's group claimed that P2-million was released on the account last March 16, two weeks before the start of the campaign for local candidates which they fear would be used to bankroll the Lim-Montes ticket's campaign.

On January 8, 9 and 15, this year, a total of P1.5-million was withdrawn, P500,000 for each day.

In 2005, the city government reportedly spent a total of P12.3-million in confidential expenses.

Last year, P7-million was allegedly spent for intelligence expenses, the Torralba camp claimed.

From January this year, a total of P3.5-million have been released on the account.

The group also claimed that in November 9, 2005, P290,215 was charged to the intelligence fund allegedly as a reimbursement to the mayor for expenses on the birthday of Vice Mayor Nuevas Tirol-Montes.

While the city government was spending millions charged to the intelligence fund, the Torralba-Veloso camp said that the City PNP was complaining for the inadequate support they are getting from City Hall.

The recent releases from the fund, the group claimed, were used to buy-out Lakas-CMD bets who bolted to join Lim and Montes.

EXAMINED BY COA

On the other hand, Mayor Lim noted that it is the city council that approves all appropriations and it is surprising why the councilors identified with Torralba are making a big issue out of it now instead of during the deliberations when they approved it.

"What were they doing the past three years? Were they sleeping during the sessions?

Why did they approve a budget that they now accuse of being bloated?" Lim asked.

The mayor added that the expenditures for the intelligence fund are all examined by the Commission on Audit (COA), contrary to what the group of Torralba and Veloso are alleging.

"It is either they are ignorant of the procedures or they just want to fool the people," Lim said.

The mayor explained that the COA conducts a regular audit on intelligence fund expenditures.

Lim said both COA and the executive department are not allowed to release the expenditures because they involved sensitive matters that will endanger lives.

"I am not going to give an accounting of the intelligence fund just because desperate politicians have no more issues to throw against me," he added.

Lim accused Torralba of mental dishonesty in raising the issue when he was aware that it has already been audited by the COA and that the report could not be made public.

"I suggest that we discuss the over-price of the Agora and the new City Hall instead," he added.

Lim said he is waiting for Torralba to accept his challenge for a public debate on corruption at the city hall during his term.

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Re: P22 Million Intelligence Fund Used by City Hall?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2008, 03:29:40 PM »
This thread was the first breaking news of Tubag Bohol.
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