Governor defends cash advances with presidential decree, House leader cites COA memo
MANILA - Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and House Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas on Wednesday clashed over the former's alleged misuse of P66.4 million in tobacco excise tax funds when she purchased motor vehicles through cash advance.
Fariñas, a former Marcos ally, had called for a legislative inquiry into Ilocos Norte's use of the funds to acquire 40 mini-cabs, 5 second-hand buses and 70 Foton mini-trucks in 2011 and 2012..
The purchase was was done in 3 transactions, including one that amounted to P32 million paid though cash advance.
At a House hearing, Marcos noted that Presidential Decree No. 1445, signed by her late father, dictator Ferdinand Marcos, allows local chief executives to approve cash advances as long as these were done for a specific purpose, paid through a bonded officer and liquidated fully and immediately.
Provincial state auditors, she added, made no adverse reports about her province's P32-million cash advance transaction.
Fariñas, however, noted that the Commission on Audit has a standing memorandum circular limiting the use of cash advances only for salaries and wages, commutable allowances, honoraria and other similar payments to officials and employees, and petty operating expenses.
Marcos said she only discovered the COA circular recently as it was not published by the University of the Philippines Law Center.
"Kung tutuusin, wala namang nawala, wala namang anomalya. And'yan lahat ng gamit. Wala naman tayong masasabing nawaldas," she added.