THE FAILURE of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) national president Jane Censoria Cajes to render an accounting on the finances of the organization continues to haunt her as widespread calls for her to render an accounting reverberated during the recently-held SK federation national congress in scenic Panglao Island.
In an email message sent to the different media outfits in the city, the SK participants through a certain “Victoria Vera” lambasted Cajes for her repeated failure to render an accounting.
“Victoria Vera” said, “Sa kanyang talumpati kanina sa Panglao Island Nature Resort (PINR) sa harap ng mga kabataang Pilipino, na nagtiisniis sa mala-impiyernong venue ng proper program, ni katiting ay hindi niya binanggit ang tungkol sa status ng financial statements.” (In her speech at the Panglao Island Nature Resort before the country’s youth, who were suffering in the hell-like venue of the program proper, not a single word did she (Cajes) mention about the status of the financial statements.)
The SK participants said that they are disappointed to get through the truth.
In spite of the demand to produce the said documents in the name of transparency and accountability, it is hard to accept the fact that the Cajes leadership is playing “deaf” on her responsibility, the participants claimed.
The email writer said that their demand is but simple and that is for Cajes to literally show to them and publish the financial statements.
These alleged unaccounted finances include (a) PhP10 million provided in 2008 by presidential fund; (b) PhP10 million given in 2009 by DENR; (c) financial statement (FS) of 2008 regarding congress in Cebu; (d) FS of 2009 congress held in Subic Bay; and (e) FS of the National Convention and launching of Sama-sama Para sa Kalikasan held in Bohol.
The participants also insisted that Cajes should make transparent the dole outs from the Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, the Department of National Defense and other private donors such as The Bar.
They asked Cajes not to prolong the agony of the SK members because of her promises to open up the financial statement (FS) during the national congress but nothing has happened.
“Ang Congress na ito sana naming natatanging pag-asa na malaman ang tungkol sa FS, pero walang nangyari. Sabi mo noon, sa SK Congress mo paipakia ang FS to put an end to the issue, once and for all, pero walang nangyari.” (It is in this Congress that we hope to know the truth about the FS but nothing happened. You said before, you would show the FS in the SK Congress to put an end to the issue, once and for all, but still, nothing happened.), “Victoria Vera” said.
They wondered if Cajes, who is said to be leaving for abroad to study, would not be tormented by her conscience without clearing her name while numerous SK members just wanted to know the real score of these funds.
They added that if she has nothing to hide, Cajes should have some “delicadeza” to protect her family name which her parents hade been caring for.
“It might be ruined by your actuation, remember your father was a former congressman and now mayor of Trinidad and your mother has been rearing you. Is this what you want to give them in return,” the participants asked.
They claimed that Cajes had been repeatedly mentioning “Pagbabago” (change) but she has not shown indication of resolving the issue of the FS as one of her key responsibilities.
They also disclosed that six of the members of the SK National Executive Board have confirmed that it was not true that Cajes had already presented the financial statements during its recent meeting.
When sought for comments, Cajes issued the following statement, quoted verbatim.
“The malicious accusations spread thru email were plain and simple political black propaganda which may be orchestrated by people or group who are desperately opting to start a chaos, since the congress that has recently concluded was a tremendous success.
1. On the allegation thrown to me, I have never hidden anything from the people, most especially the SK sector which I am serving with all the best that I can. I have been answering queries and issues regarding the Financial Statement since campaign period last summer.
2. The financial statements are ready. The SKNF have commissioned an external bookkeeper and auditor who checked, verified and helped the federation to prepare the Financial Statements. All documents (receipts, invoices, vouchers) are intact and they are in proper order in the custody of our office.
3. As for their request to publish the Financial Statement in the Facebook, I am afraid the website is not an official venue to publish such documents. I hope people will remember that I have been saying over the radio that the financial statements and documents are in my Manila office and they are available if they request for such documents. I have been saying this since summer this year.
4. It was not true that an SK participant had an accident. I confirmed with the tourist police in the town of Panglao, and it was found that it was another isolated accident of another individual, and definitely not an SK participant.
5. As for the issue about my family name, I have taken good care of the name of my parents. I have served the Filipino youth with integrity, dignity and pure intensions. I am not perfect but I have done the best of what I can do. My parents are among my best sources of inspiration and I shall maintain the integrity of my family’s name for which my parents have tediously worked hard to build-up all these years.
6. Every congress that we have in SK, I have always personally attended to the concerns of the participants. We sometimes shoulder expenses that are not included in the registration. Today for instance, we are facilitating the accommodation for some 300 SKs who are now stranded in Cebu due to the strike and rally of PAL employees.
7. I hope the people and the rest of the Filipino community should begin to appreciate the efforts of the youth. As young people, the SK is a diverse sector by and in itself, and I hope that the community and fellow countrymen can help encourage, motivate, inspire and guide our youth for the benefit of not only the present but also the next generation as well.”