Manila, Philippines – Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares yesterday assailed Malacañang’s claim of innocence in the misappropriation of Malampaya funds, saying that the Aquino administration authorized military expenditures to be financed out of the Malampaya profits.
Colmenares, who has been pushing for a special audit of the Malampaya expenditures, said expenses for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are precluded from government earnings from natural gas venture.
After insisting that all Malampaya fund disbursements made by the Aquino government were all correct and aboveboard, deputy spokesperson Abigael Valte admitted that the President has already authorized P15.2-billion expenditures since it came to power in mid-2010.
Colmenares noted that the current government’s annual Malampaya fund spending is nearly just half of the P2.4-billion yearly disbursements made during the term of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Identified as military spending were the funds allocated for the acquisition of the United States (US) Coat Guard Cutter Hamilton – P423,063,900; spent for the AFP-DND, P4,954,580,167 and the transfer of dry docking and hull maintenance cost of Coast Guard Cutter ship – P880,615,176.
According to Colmenares, granting that the 2010 disbursements were still that of former President Arroyo, the Malampaya funds is still being misused by the Aquino administration.”
“In 2011, a total of P13,266,555,424.00 was spent from the Malampaya funds; with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) getting the largest share of P4,954,580,167 and DOF-NPC with P4.6 billion as the biggest spenders,” stated Colmenares.