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Magpaliwanag kayo! Trillanes to grill PCOO during budget hearings

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by Xave Gregorio

With the Senate not yet conducting probes into alleged anomalies in the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV aims to grill the government agency during budget deliberations.

Trillanes said the PCOO and its chief, Secretary Martin Andanar, should explain how it used its 2017 budget, especially the P38.8 million spent for the Asean Summit flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) in its yearly audit report.

“Naka-block na ‘yan sa aming schedule kung kailan ide-deliberate ang budget nila, eh hindi ko palalampasin ‘yan,” Trillanes said Saturday (July 21) over radio dwIZ.

“Papa-producin natin ‘yung mga liquidation documents niyan at ibabangga natin sa COA findings,” he said.

The opposition senator filed in May a resolution seeking a Senate probe into the PCOO’s allegedly anomalous P647.11 million information drive for the 2017 Asean Summit, but this has not been taken up by any committee.

The COA recommended that charges be filed against PCOO employees responsible for the allegedly illegal spending of P7.26 million for various goods and services and rental of passenger vans.

It also castigated the PCOO for leasing cameras and laptops worth P4.04 million, when it could have bought these and saved the government almost P1 million.

Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian had earlier said he would be questioning the PCOO’s budget “to the last centavo” if it commits yet another blunder.

PCOO previously butchered Gatchalian’s name and identified him as “Winston Gatchalian” in a press release. The government agency also claimed the Norwegian ambassador came from “Norwegia” and that the late Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez was named “Rogelio.”