Former mayor Lucena Demaala of Narra has denied accusations that she left the town empty of funds and the new administration scraping for resources to continue unfinished projects and programs.
“Hindi totoo lahat ng sinasabi nila na wala akong iniwan na pera sa munisipyo. Ang totoo ay may naiwan tayo at ang ibang projects nila ngayon ay galing pa doon [ang pondo]. Hindi lang kasi sila marunong humawak ng pera, hindi nila alam kung paano i-manage kaya puro paninira na lang ang ginagawa nila sa akin,” Demaala said to Palawan News in a phone interview on Wednesday.
She made the clarification following accusations from the camp of Mayor Gerandy Danao that she pocketed the funds of the municipal government.
Demaala said that based on the Consolidated Statement of Financial Position (CSFP) by fund certified by the Commission on Audit (COA) as of June 30, 2019, Narra still has total cash and cash equivalents amounting to P301,344,014.35.
Broken down, the amount represents P247,269,750.68 General Fund; P6,549,633.02 Special Education Fund (SEF); and P47,524,630.65 Trust Fund.
Demaala said that before she left, the amount of P4,791,644.09 was in the municipality’s cash local treasury; P5,000 was petty cash; P296,375,536.97 was cash in bank in current account; and P171,833.29 is in savings account.
“Mayroong sobra sa P296 million na cash in bank at mayroon din sa local treasury, doon sa treasurer’s office. ‘Yan ‘yong consolidated report noong umalis ako. Hindi ko hawak ang pera, nasa bangko ‘yan lahat. ‘Yan ang report ng COA kasi in-audit nila ‘yan. Bago pa lang sila, hindi naman nila alam pa ang in and out ng pera ng gobyerno — kung baga pa, bagong salta lang sila. Sana bago mag-akusa na walang iniwanan na pera ay inaaral muna nila at tiningnan,” Demaala said.
She explained that no public official can just go to the bank and withdraw government money without going through procedures.
Demaala added that COA also certified that the amount is enough to ensure the continuation of the projects and programs of the current administration of Narra, including those that were started when she was the mayor of the town.
“‘Yan ang hirap sa mga bagong uupo, akala nila ninakawa mo ang pera — binibintangan kang magnanakaw, magnanakaw, pero hindi lang alam ang in and out ng pero ng pamahalaan,” she said.
Demaala also cited the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) that Narra received from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which recognizes with incentives local government units (LGUs) that continually progress and improve their performance.
She said Narra will not be given the award if its past leaders did not practice sound municipal governance.
“Pamumulitika lang ang lahat ng ito. Hindi tayo bibigyan ng SGLG award kung hindi tayo maayos magpatakbo at humawak ng budget ng munisipyo. Sobrang higpit ng COA, lahat ‘yan dumadaan sa masusing proseso bago ka ma-recognize as SGLG awardee. Mali lahat ng sinasabi nila, subukan na lang nila muna i-review ang budget ng munisipyo para malaman nila ang totoo at hindi puro paninira,” she added.