Malacañang gets $15,000 bill for World War 2 supplies
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit has denied a $15,000 claim made to the Office of the President (OP) for supplies requisitioned by a Filipino guerilla general during World War II.
The 75-year-old debt note was being charged to the OP by Arturo Payaoan, who said he was the grandson and sole heir of Captain Melecio Rosario. Rosario supposedly provided supplies to US-Filipino forces during World War II.
The claimant’s list included the following items:
- 1 horse-drawn carriage (P1,625)
- 2 male horses (P250)
- 1 bicycle (150)
- 50 sacks of rice (P200)
- 10 cavans of mung beans (P200)
- 21 chickens (P63)
- 1,000 Habano cigars (P60)
- 5 cans of salted fish (P35)
- 10 pounds of sugar (P22.50)
- 2 cans of suite (P16)
- 35 cases of laundry soap (P14)
- 15 pounds of salt (P7.50)
- 20 packs of matches (P5)
- 2 cans of coffee (P3)
Payaoan said his grandfather, who served in the 14th Infantry, was promised payment of $15,000 through an IOU. He said Captain Rosario died without getting paid.
Records showed the note was signed by Dr Godofredo Calub, founder and president of the Crusaders Army Incorporated (CAI). The debt note was offered as proof that Rosario was a member with a share in the “estate of the late war-time Commander-in-chief General Hilario Camino Moncado.”
Lack of jurisdiction
Malacañang declined responsibility for the debt note, saying there was no record that the OP had any transaction with CAI.
The director of the National Government Sector Cluster 1-Commission on Audit recommended the denial of the claim on the ground that the petitioner failed to sufficiently establish his claim against the OP.
COA chairman Michael Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose Fabia and Roland Pondoc affirmed the cluster director’s stand, citing lack of jurisdiction.
“This Commission is devoid of jurisdiction to entertain the herein petition. The CAI was a private organization, not a government agency or its subsidiary or instrumentality. Neither was it an agency attached to the OP or the Philippine Army,” COA said.
“The jurisdiction of this Commission over money claims is limited to those due from or owing to the Philippine government. The said jurisdiction cannot be extended to claims against private individual or foreign government,” it added.
COA said the claimant could still collect from the estate of General Hilario Camino Moncado, a former resistance leader during the Japanese occupation. – Rappler.com