MANILA - Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko" Moreno on Wednesday bared that the administration of his predecessor, ousted President and plunder convict Joseph Estrada, spent P2.9 billion on commercial contracts in just a month after the midterm elections, or before leaving office.
"Nagiging malisyoso ba tayo? Hindi. (Are we being malicious? No.) Pero (But) the fact is you spent P2.9 billion in 30 days paying commercial contracts. 'Yung June 21 alone siguro about a little [over] 2 dozen transactions issued in 1 day. What’s the hurry?" he told ANC's Dateline Philippines.
Moreno, however, said he would not investigate the matter and instead wait for the audit report.
"I don’t want to spend my time going after those people. If they were found by any agencies of the government liable, they’re going to be liable," he said.
"Hahabulin namin sila kapag napatunayan na sila’y may pagkukulang, may pagmamalabis sa awtoridad na pinagkaloob sa kanila."
(We will go after them once they are found liable for abusing their authority.)
Moreno, meanwhile, vowed to pay the city's debts to state agencies such as the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), to whom Manila owes P214 million.
"We have a copy of the letter that GSIS is now claiming for the City of Manila, P214 million, and it’s been ongoing for the past 4 years," he said.
"Pumanatag ho kayo, babayaran ko po 'yun. Immediately. Makita ko lang 'yung pera, 'yung tunay na amount, 'yung pangpa-suweldo natin maka-survive pa sa loob ng 6 na buwan, immediately I will update. If there’s GSIS watching, we will commit ourselves to pay that debt."
(Rest assured, I will pay for it. Immediately. Once I find the source of funds, the exact amount, and if there's enough salary for employees for 6 months, immediately I will update.)
Moreno added that he had just been informed Tuesday that the city owes the Bureau of Internal Revenue P700 billion.
He hit the previous administration for failing to submit documents needed for a smooth transition.
"Mayroon daw po ata kaming pagkakautang na P700 billion (We might have a debt of P700 billion). Ata kasi (I say might because) I’m not sure because we don’t have any documents to prove their claim, to prove our defense," he said.