By Ben Rosario
The Commission on Audit (COA) scolded the Presidential Commission on Good Government for failing to sell some P336 million in ill-gotten properties allegedly belonging to cronies of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
COA said such inaction denied government additional funding for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law as provided under the law.
The agency has not caused the reappraisal of assets subject of public bidding; thus, recovery of P336,014,000 targeted income from sale of assets was not attained,” COA stated in the recently released 2017 annual audit report for the PCGG.
In the same audit report, the state audit recommended the filing of “appropriate legal action against the Philippine National Bank for its alleged failure to submit for audit documents supporting the disbursement of P2.98 million or P30,321,869. 92.
A notice of disallowance was issued by COA in connection with the undocumented disbursements of the PNB Retained Fund.
““The PNB as trustor has a responsibility to provide the documents required by the PCGG Commission as embodied in Section IX of the Custodianship agreement executed between the Republic of the Philippines and the Philippine National Bank on January 30, 2004,” COA stated in the report.
Reacting to the COA recommendation, the PCGG assured the audit body that it will no longer renew the MOA extending PNB’s authority to retain the contingency fund.
Meanwhile, COA reminded the PCGG that its mandate to privatize asset is necessary “to prevent its further deterioration and to fulfill the agency’s mandate of remitting the proceeds from sale as required” under the Republic Act 6657 or the CARL.
“We recommended that management prioritize the implementation of the privatization plan to ensure the continuous support to the CARP Fund,” COA said.
COA said it had expected PCGG to dispose of the ill-gotten properties last year but the agency was disappointed upon learning that no sale was made.
The properties mentioned by COA are the following:
• 26,812 hectares in Bacolod City surrendered by Antonio Martel and Simplicio Palanca after entering a compromise agreement with the government
• 6.4 hectares in General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite surrendered by Jose Y. Campos in the name of Independent Realty Corporation
• 5,952 square meters in Naga City recovered from Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation of Roberto Benedicto
• 2,335 sq. m. in Francisco Evergreen Subdivision in Tagaytay City
• 1,000 sq. m. in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro recovered from Jolly Bugarin
• two 300-sq.-m. lots in Pangarap Village, Caloocan City from former Marcos aide Alejo Ganut Jr.
• 480 sq. m.. in Kingswood Property, Emerald Court Subdivision, Caloocan City surrendered by Ganut
• 300 sq. m. in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro from Bugarin
The PCGG’s latest sale of properties considered ill-gotten was in 2014.
The COA said the PCGG included the properties on a list that would be auctioned off based on the privatization plan submitted to the Department of Justice on April 20, 2017.
“The audit team noted that during the year there was no public bidding conducted to privatize the assets enumerated. It was also further noted that the management also failed to dispose properties from previous years,” COA said.
Reacting to the COA report, PCGG acting chairman Reynold Munsayac explained that the privatization efforts of the agency were placed on hold because there was a need for a re-appraisal of he property’s current market value.
Munsayac assured the audit agency that all properties left unsold in 2017 will be disposed of this year.