Misusing state funds and assets, Philippines have lost almost USD2.5 billion towards the end of graft-tainted ex-President Gloria Arroyo’s term according to government auditors. The Commission of Audit found discrepancies from the 2007-2009 period during its investigation of more than 61,000 government agencies in 2011.
According to our sources, the audit findings indicate government losses as a direct result of law violations, as well as violations of rules and regulations. There were over 4000 cases of unauthorized expenses, cash advances that were not accounted for, as well as uncollected duties, missing asses, fictitious claims, abandoned projects among others, which amount to roughly USD 2.4 billion in losses to the government.
The discrepancy equals approximately 5.6 per cent of the countries budget for 2012. There were other funds that could not be accounted for, such as the Arroyo government’s conditional cash transfer program, in which, less fortunate families were to receive benefits for keeping their children in school. The program could not account for approximately 3.77 billion pesos in funding.
The audit findings included finding of questionable items such as cash advances to the tune of 1.862 billion pesos to two government treasures in the province of Maguindanao and 1.123 billion pesos to suppliers in a Muslim self-rule area.
The former president Arroyo was arrested and detained at a hospital in Manila on October 4, 2012 after allegedly diverting more than 360 million pesos to her election campaign; money which was meant for charity programs funded by state lottery.