PCOO: Employee, 2 ex-officials in hot water over alleged ASEAN irregularities

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 25 2019 01:36 PM | Updated as of Jun 25 2019 01:53 PM

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MANILA - The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Tuesday said one of its employees and 2 former officials are in hot water for alleged failure to account for some P38.8 million in funds for the country's hosting of international leaders in 2017.

The Commission on Audit earlier flagged PCOO's "failure to conduct post-qualification evaluation" for the amount that comprise 17 percent of the total P219.2 million budget for Manila's hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit two years ago.

The PCOO has submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman a fact-finding report on 2 officials who have resigned, said Undersecretary Marvin Gatpayat.

"It's up to the Office of the Ombudsman whether to file charges against former PCOO officials," he told ANC.

A PCOO property officer, meanwhile, is facing an administrative case for gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, he said.

"There were certain duties that she has been remiss in doing, especially in the procurement duties," said Gatpayat.

He declined to name the property officer and the 2 former officials but said there was "no strong proof or evidence" that they favored certain suppliers for the ASEAN event.

Of the P38-million ASEAN funds "found to be deficient," P4.04 million involved the rental of information technology equipment that was "more expensive than the selling price" by around P965,000, said state auditors.

"Additional savings would have been secured, considering that no further acquisition by the agency of similar equipment is necessary, if same had already been procured," the COA added.