Solon: Charge Gloria Arroyo for taking P98-M from PNoy's social fund

Former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo must face administrative charges for drawing an advance of P98.6 million from President Benigno Aquino III’s social fund a month before she relinquished her post last year, a party-list lawmaker said Wednesday.

“The fact that she advanced these funds, she has to face administrative liabilities... It’s inappropriate for a President to use the funds that isn’t hers, that belongs to the next President. President Aquino should have gotten the new funding," Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares said in an interview Wednesday.

Commission on Audit chief Grace Pulido-Tan said in a budget hearing on Tuesday that Arroyo ordered an official of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to approve a request for cash advance worth P98.6 million from the Presidential Social Fund or PSF which the gaming company fills from its revenues.

The cash advance, approved in May last year, was drawn from the June 2010 PSF — which, according to Rep. Colmenares, already belonged to Arroyo’s successor.

Aquino assumed the presidency near noontime of June 30, 2010.

Colmenares said the advance Arroyo got deprived poor Filipinos of aid.

“We have to give justice to the people who are lining up for PAGCOR assistance. It’s unfair for them," he said.

The party-list lawmaker revealed earlier this month that PAGCOR disbursed P435 million to Arroyo’s PSF in the last days of her administration.

The PSF dates back to the time of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who required PAGCOR to remit a portion of its earnings to Malacañang in support of the president’s development projects. — ELR/VS, GMA News

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