Cabinet on guard for scams: Palace

Posted at 07/12/2013 6:15 PM | Updated as of 07/12/2013 6:15 PM

MANILA -- Malacañang asserted Friday it has taken steps to ensure the integrity of the disbursement of government funds since President Aquino assumed office in 2010.

Palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte made the statement amid the probe into an alleged P10 billion ghost project scam which was traced back to as early as the year 2002.

"I understand that several persons have submitted affidavits to the [National Bureau of Investigation] as such the investigation will already start. Not being privy to the contents of the affidavits, we will withhold any comment until such time that the NBI releases its findings," Valte said.

Reports said the principal witness to the scam has identified the head and members of a syndicate which defrauded government by using funds from the pork barrel of lawmakers and various government agencies.

The whistleblower added the syndicate offered to lawmakers huge commissions in exchange for the right to determine the implementing agency and fund beneficiary of their pork barrel funds.

Valte said while she is not privy to the contents of the probe, Aquino has strict orders for his Cabinet members to be on guard for such scams.

"When the President assumed office in June 2010, isa po 'yan doon sa mga naging marching orders niya sa mga miyembro ng Gabinete na tingnan po, gumawa ng imbentaryo nung mga proyektong nasa ilalim ng kanilang mga departamento at ahensiya at gawan po ito ng kaukulang aksyon. So, suffice to say, that our Cabinet secretaries are of course on guard for things like this," she said. -- ANC