A taxpayer from Surigao del Norte on Tuesday filed a complaint of plunder, malversation and graft before the Office of the Ombudsman against ex-Surigao del Norte governor Francisco Matugas for the questionable procurement of child’s story books.
Oscar Pospia Jr. accused Matugas of unlawful use of the province’s rehabilitation and provincial disaster management funds worth P60 million intended for ravaged super typhoon “Odette” victims in December 2021.
“At that time, we needed roofs over our heads, relief goods, clean and safe drinking water, and classrooms. But while we are suffering from terrible anguish, the assistance given to the people
were story books, such as ‘Joy Joy the Jolly Boy,’ and ‘Mimi and the Mouse, and other similar books for school children,” he said.
He said the fund diversion was done in March 2022 or less than two months before the May 2022 presidential election.
The P60-million fund was intended for other purposes, such as the disaster response and rehabilitation of the province, particularly the localities hit by ”Odette.”
Matugas lost his re-election bid in 2022.
“These were done and carried out without the Commission on Audit’s approval, a clear violation of the Anti-Graff and Corrupt Practices Act,” Pospia told reporters at the Ombudsman.