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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Commission on Audit (CoA) wants five electric cooperatives in Panay to refund part of excess subsidy fund from the National Electrification Administration (NEA) amounting to P20 million.

In the 2008 CoA annual audit report on NEA finances, the audit agency found that Iloilo Electric Cooperatives (Ileco) 1, 2 and 3, Capiz Electric Cooperative (Capelco) and Aklan Electric Cooperative (Akelco) have yet to return their excess subsidy from NEA.

The CoA report showed that Ileco 1 has P1.354 million in excess subsidy, Ileco 2 – P132,208 and Ileco 3 – P504,883, Capelco – P4.143 million, and Akelco – P124,999.

The excess subsidy of the five cooperatives is just part of the almost P20 million surplus subsidy from NEA.

The other electric cooperatives who have yet to return their excess subsidy are Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative – P11.79 million, Maguindanao Electric Cooperative – P1.005 million and South Cotabato Electric Cooperative – P935,901.

The subsidy to the electric cooperatives is part of NEA’s mandate to implement the rural electrification program on an “area-coverage” basis.

The national government provides NEA with subsidy funds which are given to ECs for the electrification of depressed, low income, remote or isolated barangays, puroks or localities.

The fund will also finance the rehabilitation of distribution lines and systems damaged by calamities.

The ECs are required to return the unused subsidy funds or request to use savings or balance and interest that accrued to the fund in activities related to the electrification project.

CoA recommended in its audit report that NEA must require the said electric cooperatives (EC) to return the excess subsidy fund.

The audit body also recommended that future agreements between NEA and the ECs must provide timeline for the cooperatives to request realignment of excess subsidy funds after which the excess amount should be refunded. 

NEA has sent letters to the concerned ECs requiring them to submit board resolutions for realignment of the excess funds to other related projects or return the excess money.

So far, Ileco 1 and 2 have submitted their respective board resolutions on their request for realignments and are awaiting approval by NEA.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

ARE the remaining members of the Gulanes family who were ambushed three weeks ago no longer in Iloilo City?

This question boggles the Iloilo City police as they try to locate Ronielyn Gulanes and her 14-year-old daughter.

It turned out that mother and child have already fled abroad, according to police sources.

The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) had no inkling that Ronielyn and her daughter left when the former was released from the Iloilo Mission Hospital.

Ronielyn’s husband George died after two gunmen waylaid their pickup truck early morning of September 3 at Brgy. Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo City. Ronielyn was wounded in her cheek while their daughter was unscathed.

ICPO operatives tried to locate the surviving Gulanes family in their house in Jaro and Ronielyn’s home town in Capiz but they failed.

Authorities later learned that mother and child are out of the country already.

News of the Gulanes family’s disappearance broke out after the ICPO filed Tuesday afternoon murder and frustrated murder charges against four suspects in the ambush, including the mastermind.

The police were trying to locate the survivors to get more details regarding the ambush and the suspects.

S/Supt. Melvin Mongcal said they provided security details to Ronielyn and her daughter but it remains a mystery how they slipped out of the country without the authorities’ knowledge. 

The surviving members of the Gulanes family must have fled after receiving threats from persons believed to be involved in the ambush.

Intelligence reports said the mastermind offered P100,000 bonus to the gunmen if they can eliminate Ronielyn  and her daughter.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

AN Ilonggo soldier is one of the casualties in an ambush in Sulu Monday.

Private First Class Jonel Lauresta, 29, a native of Brgy. Don Esteban, LaPaz, Iloilo City is one of the eight Philippine Marines who died in Indanan, Sulu after they were waylaid by suspected Abu Sayyaf fighters.

Lauresta was a member of Battalion Landing Team 4 that overran one of the extremists’ main strongholds last Sunday.

The Marines were leaving the newly-captured camp when they were ambushed by Abu Sayyaf members resulting in the deaths of eight troopers and five guerrillas.

Lauresta joined the AFP six years ago after graduating as an electronic and air-conditioning technician from Western Visayas College of Science and Technology.

Fourteen soldiers were wounded in two days of fighting including two forward air controllers who were with ground troops to direct the bomb attacks against the militants, AFP officers said.

Fighting had raged on Sunday between the military and as many as 200 Abu Sayyaf guerrillas, but the troops finally raised the Philippine flag over the mountainous area, said Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino, head of military forces in the south.

In August 16 four Ilonggo marines were also slain in Mindanao when they were  ambushed by the same bandit group.

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