Statement of Commissioner Pompee La Viña

I thank the President for the honor and privilege of serving the Filipino people. As presidential appointees, we all serve at the pleasure of the President.

During my stay at the SSS, I am proud to say that I have not waivered in the fight against corruption. I can also tell you that it is a lonely fight.

Since November 2016:

• I have opposed the expropriation by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) of an SSS property with a zonal value of more than 11 billion pesos for the measly amount of 1.5 billion only. The market value of the property could very well be over 20 billion. I publicly called out Henry Sy, Jr., the president of NGCP, for this grave injustice against the 35 million members of SSS.

• I filed administrative charges and will be filing criminal charges against SSS investment officers who used their positions to make money in a clear conflict of interest, possibly resulting in lost opportunities for SSS and the granting of unwarranted benefits to outside parties. I also received information that one of these investment officers received actual bribes in the amount of Php 100,000 monthly from one of the SSS-accredited stockbrokers.

• I filed administrative and criminal charges against 21 officers and employees for blatant violations of the government procurement law for contracts amounting to almost P150 million.

I have also been investigating the following:

• Unremitted collections of SSS contributions from several banks amounting to more than Php 1 Billion • Illegal procurement of gasoline with rewards points going to the personal accounts of SSS officers • Reports that a Starex Van was declared to the DBM as unserviceable in order to buy former Chairman Juan Santos a new Starex, but the old Starex is actually serviceable and is now being used by one of the respondents in the procurement graft case • Anomalous bidding of security services forSSS Luzon • Excessive travels by SSS officers and employees, turning the pension fund of ordinary workers into a virtual travel agency • Illegal awarding of the East Avenue canteen concession without following the government procurement law

I would like to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I am against any contribution increase until we have successfully cleaned up the SSS. To do otherwise would be to add insult to injury to our members.

It has been almost 3 years since I joined the President’s crusade against corruption in Ozamiz City on March 18, 2015.  As the President himself likes to quote: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven.” My time in government is done. But I will continue to support the fight against criminality, corruption, poverty and injustice.  To the Filipino people, I say: I have had no greater honor in a life overflowing with blessings than to have served you faithfully as a Commissioner at the Social Security System of the Philippines. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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