MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives may investigate the allegedly anomalous issuance of P10-billion Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificate (PEACe) Bonds in 2001 that involved then Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman and Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez have filed House Resolution 58 calling on the House committee on good government to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation into the matter “and serve notice to all concerned, including the Department of Finance (DOF), CODE-NGO, the Bureau of Treasury and such other individuals, entities and corporations which could shed light and resolve the issue.”
CODE-NGO stands for Caucus of Development NGO Networks, where Deles and Soliman served as ranking officials. Soliman also reportedly headed the PEACE Foundation that was a beneficiary of the proceeds of the bond float.
“Up until the present, no one knows, except CODE-NGO, how the funds generated were spent,” the two lawmakers said in their joint resolution.
Last week, the Palace virtually cleared the two officials of any wrongdoing following calls that the Truth Commission investigate them for the P1.4 billion CODE-NGO windfall from the bond float.
Senators said the PEACe bonds are reportedly set to mature next year and that for the original P10-billion bonds issued, the government will have to pay P37 billion in accumulated interest.
On Oct.16, 2001, the Bureau of Treasury auctioned off 10-year zero coupon Treasury Notes eligible as secondary reserves pursuant to Monetary Board Resolution 154.
Soliman earlier said CODE-NGO had given close to P1 billion in soft loans and outright grants to the foundation “in support of potable water systems, small and medium enterprises.”
Ang Galing Pinoy Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo earlier hit Malacañang for shielding Deles and Soliman from the Truth Commission.
Deles and Soliman had been members of Mrs. Arroyo’s Cabinet. They resigned in 2005 when the “Hello Garci” scandal erupted.
“Sen. Edgardo Angara’s call to investigate both Secretaries Soliman and Deles is justified and coming from a statesman like Senator Angara, who is himself allied with the new administration, I honestly believe his act is highly commendable,” Arroyo said in a statement.
Paolo Romero, Philippine Star