Marawi funds: Army paid out P232M to kin of KIAs, wounded personnel

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    THE Philippine Army has paid out P232.55 million in financial assistance to wounded personnel and beneficiaries of soldiers who were killed in action (KIAs) during the five-month long “Marawi siege” in 2017, the Commission on Audit said in its 2019 audit of the military service branch.

    The payout represented 98 percent of the total P237.23 million Marawi funds received by the Army from government and private donors.

    According to figures from the Office of the Army Adjutant, there were 124 KIAs and 1,440 wounded-in-action among Army personnel who fought terrorists in Marawi City.

    Based on the breakdown of fund disbursements, P143.352 million was distributed to the legal beneficiaries of deceased Army personnel, leaving a balance of only P3.785 million of funds received from the Armed Forces General Headquarters.

    On the other hand, private donations totaling P47.12 million were released as financial assistance to soldiers who were wounded in action during the conflict. Out of the total donations of P47.67 million, the Army reported a balance of only about P552,925.

    An additional P42.09 million also coming from private donors was spent for the “Observation Tour on Safety and Security” in Hong Kong for female uniformed personnel of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, who also fought against the Maute terrorist group which attacked, and later occupied for give months, several barangays in Marawi City in May 2017.

    The government said the travel was part of the effort to “uplift and boost the morale of these modern-day heroes.”

    COA directed the Army to submit documents for proper liquidation of the P83.42 million that remained unliquidated as of Dec. 31, 2019.