MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Thursday denied allegations of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV that its chairman, Sen. Richard Gordon, funneled part of his discretionary funds to the agency in the past.
In a statement, PRC Secretary General Oscar Palabyab cleared Gordon of alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), as Trillanes had alleged in the plunder case he filed against his Senate colleague before the Office of the Ombudsman Wednesday.
Palabyab explained that Trillanes was referring to projects that the Red Cross undertook as an implementing agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the past, which have been properly accounted for.
“Senator Richard J. Gordon had no participation at all in the implementation of those projects and the disbursement of the funds the PRC received from the DSWD. Proper liquidation reports were submitted to the DSWD as required, and provided answers and explanations in the course of the liquidation process,” Palabyab said Thursday.
He said the PRC has been compliant with the requirements and process of liquidation implemented by the DSWD and that the issues and allegations Trillanes raised have been “duly investigated and settled before.”
Gordon has yet to issue a statement.
Trillanes on Wednesday filed a plunder complaint against Gordon before the Office of the Ombudsman over alleged corruption in the PRC.
He accused Gordon of supposedly funneling P193 million of his PDAF to the Red Cross, where the latter serves as chairperson.
Trillanes also alleged that funds from both the PRC and Gordon's PDAF went to anomalous projects, and that the latter has taken advantage of his position as PRC head to advance his political career.
The plunder case is the latest episode in the continuing spat between Trillanes and Gordon, who had earlier crossed swords at the Senate.
“Regrettably, the allegations are based on misleading and outdated facts. We will simply have to restate our position that all those issues have been properly dealt with but are now being sensationalized to the prejudice of the PRC,” Palabyab said.
“We can show without fear of contradiction that the PRC remains a trustworthy and dependable humanitarian organization that is committed to save lives and help the most vulnerable and come out clean in the end,” he added.
The PRC also expressed confidence that Gordon can defend himself from the accusations hurled against him.
“We are confident too that Senator Gordon can very well defend himself and clear his good name as a long time Red Cross volunteer and humanitarian worker who happens to be a Senator of the Republic, who fearlessly pursues his advocacies for good governance and the public good,” Palabyab said.