What’s behind this ongoing audit on alleged fraudulent fund releases made by Zubiri

So apparently the news items in Bukidnon aren’t just limited to landslides, ambushes and reservations on the proclamation of a Bukidnon senator. Apparently, the Commission on Audit (COA) is currently conducting an investigation on the alleged fraudulent releases of pesosesoses from the Capitol during the time of former Bukidnon Governor now Vice Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri, Jr.

Not a few Capitol employees tipped BukidnonOnline.com about this before but we did not really pay attention to it at first especially since we really want this Bukidnon website to focus on the “good” things rather than on the “negative” stuff. By “good” things we mean more focus on tourism in Bukidnon and perhaps promising businesses in Bukidnon.

Sadly, we can’t forever turn a blind eye on these things. We really have to bring this out in the open, if only in an effort to spur discussions not only among government officials and employees but most importantly, among the common tao. People in Bukidnon need to know.

According to news reports, the Commission on Audit is currently conducting an investigation on the alleged fraudulent releases of money from the Capitol during Zubiri’s term as governor.

The investigation was prompted after a group called Northern Mindanao Concerned Citizens Against Graft and Corruption reportedly complained about Zubiri’s mishandling of funds. The thing is, the complaint-letter from the NMCCAGC is reportedly “unsigned” — meaning the names of the complainants can’t be found on the letter or can’t be verified. If this is true, then we can’t help but wonder if it is legal or fair for the COA or for any government body to conduct an investigation. Exactly how many times have we heard that unless you put it in writing, it’s all but hearsay?

The complaints against Zubiri are supposedly related to the alleged release of at least Php 600 Million of Bukidnon’s 20 percent development fund, mishandling of the fertilizer program in the province under the Department of Agriculture, the alleged anomalies behind the controversial Provincial Indigency Health Program (PIHP) and the more controversial bonuses for regular government employees of at least Php 80,000 EACH. Which reminds us — wasn’t the granting of bonuses not only in the province but in Valencia City also a controversial issue?

Aaahh…NOW THINGS ARE GETTING TO BE SO EXCITING.

We wonder if the COA will also look into the big performance incentives given to Malaybalay and Valencia City employees. Perhaps we all just have to wait. We have a feeling things will be very, very interesting in the next few months!

Update (for those who still do not know) — Malaybalay City’s mayor is a Zubiri relative. Valencia City is led by a party-mate of Zubiri.

Here’s another interesting theory. That the Acostas, long-time political arch-enemies of the Zubiris, are behind the investigation. A lot of people, including the Zubiris actually, think that politics has something to do with the complaint filed before COA. A lot of people also think that the Acostas have ties with the NMCCAGC and that because they’re partymates with President Noynoy Aquino (Liberal Party), they have enough strings to pull in order for the investigation to kick off. All these, however, remain to be hypotheses, really. It has yet to be proven that the Acostas do have something to do with the audit. Just like how it has yet to be proven that the Zubiris blocked Neric Acosta’s appointment as DENR secretary. Is this another case of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”? Your guess is as good as ours.

By the way, a high ranking official at the Capitol told us that the members of the COA audit team requested that instead of holding the meeting with Zubiri in Malaybalay City, they asked that the venue be instead changed to Cagayan de Oro City. Allegedly, the COA officers had “security concerns.” Interesting, don’t you think so? We can’t help but wonder what those security fears were.

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