OPAPP tells those involved in fund mess to ‘better resign’

MANILA (11 Aug) — The Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process has advised those allegedly involved in the P500-million fund mess at the OPAPP to resign before appropriate charges case will be filed against them.

The alleged fund mess was exposed by former OPAPP Secretary Anabelle Abaya but her successor, Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, claimed the documents supposed to support the alleged fund mess have not been turned over to her by Abaya, hence, “there is no paper trail.”

“Those involved in anomalous transactions may already resign before cases will be filed against them,” said Quintos-Deles in a meeting with 24 lobby delegates composed of grassroots leaders who travelled all the way from Mindanao to Manila to meet cabinet officials of the Aquino administration in a series of fora dubbed “Conversations with Mindanao Grassroots.”

In supporting her claim that she had no paper trail to follow up on the alleged fund mess, Quintos-Deles explained that during the incumbency of Jesus Dureza at OPAPP, management of the office’s finance was transferred to Malacañang for reasons the Peace Secretary claimed she did not know.

Part of the effects of the alleged fund mess was the complaint of the Joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (JCCCH) that it had not received its subsidy from government for the last seven months, resulting further in its failure to pay some of its bills.

But Quintos-Deles said she already remedied the problem of the JCCCH by requesting government for a cash advance which she implied was already released to the offices under OPAPP that needed the funds.

“Even if there are unliquidated funds, OPAPP advanced for the panel so the fund is now out,” the OPAPP secretary said while reporting that she has already “assumed responsibility on the budget and finances” of her office.

Quintos-Deles also reported to the lobby group that “assignments to the JCCCH are on a transition period,” saying further that the transition has taken longer because they treat it as a major reorganization process. (Romy Elusfa is a member of the “peace lobby” delegation).