Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Massive withdrawals from aviation funds by Arroyo administration raise suspicion

Over US$9.1 million were withdrawn from the funds of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) during the last months of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo whose term ended 30 June 2010, according to a report by the Philstar.
The aviation employees' union urged the Upper House to probe the several cash withdrawals made by former director general Ruben Ciron who departed the CAAP on March 2010. The union equated the withfrawals to the "pabaon" (welcome and send-off gifts) tradition of the military sector.
The report continued that the former Air Force general Ciron--who was a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy in 1968--made five big cash withdrawals from the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) and the Land Bank of the Philippines accounts of the CAAP, the union said.
A total of US$3.4 million was withdrawn last year from the UCPB peso account on 7 January and US$1.8 million on 2 March.
Four huge US dollar withdrawals from the Landbank were made in a two-week period namely, US$1 million on Feb. 23, US$1 million on Feb. 26, and US$2 million, also on March 2.
Another irregularity that surfaced that was akin with the military's "conversion" scandal was the spending of the United Nations Fund.
The Commission on Audit discovered that the CAAP's International Civil Aviation Organization trust fund that had US$12 million in 1996 had been drained with only US$3 million left by the end of 2009.
Details of this story here.

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