The Mindanao Power Crisis: Campaign Bonanza For Corrupt LGUs?
We are in the clutches of a sweltering summer helped along by the El Nino phenomenon but Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may have just opened the faucet, the corruption faucet that is.
Thanks to the incompetence-induced Mindanao power crisis, Mrs. Arroyo (whose Lakas-Kampi-CMD combine reputedly controls at least 80 percent of all local government units) issued this message as the weekened began:
The LGUs (local government units) can use five percent of their budget for calamity where they choose to spend it because they have local autonomy.
The one that’s not allowed during the [Comelec] ban is awarding contracts,
The gensets will be the private sector…. In my instructions, aside from the private sector importing gensets, they’re going to rent; they’re going to lease.
Claro que si?
Armed with this presidential wink, it’s now open season for such calamity fund to be siphoned off by ‘creative’ and unscrupulous Arroyo party mates to ease their personal campaign-related ‘financial calamities’.
Her hot-head and imperious Energy Secretary, Angelo Reyes, has said that the calamity funds totaling some P 5.5 billion will be used to procure generators.
Malacanang insists the suspicions are misplaced because the Commission on Audit will guard against the diversion and misuse of the calamity funds.
But there’s a fine print to that: COA is no longer allowed to undertake pre-audits!!!
Oh the needed emergency gensets will be bought alright.
But with the legally-mandated public bidding procedures suspended because of the calamity, the acquisition prices can be generously padded with the SOPs (under the table commission)having the suppliers and their political cohorts laughing all the way to the bank!!!
The authoritative publication MindaNews chronicled how energy authorities had long foreseen the power crisis but ignored it: