PRRD expresses delight with COA’s ‘prompt’ response to PRC audit

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MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte stated on Monday that he was pleased with the Commission on Audit (COA) chair Michael Aguinaldo’s “prompt” response to his request to audit the accounts of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

“I am pleased to learn about the prompt response of COA chair Michael Aguinaldo to our call to audit the Philippine Red Cross,” he said in a public address.

This comes after Duterte ordered Solicitor General Jose Calida on Sept. 16 to write Aguinaldo a letter requesting a PRC audit.

“Ang inatasan ko kasi dito to ask Chair Aguinaldo to conduct the audit si SolGen Calida (I assigned SolGen Calida to ask Chair Aguinaldo to conduct the audit). He wrote Aguinaldo and ang sagot naman ni Aguinaldo (and Aguinaldo’s response) was a prompt one by initiating immediately an auditing program,” he added.

He also urged COA to act on a notice of disqualification it had sent to Gordon over funds allegedly misused while he was still the chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigating the national government’s use of Covid-19 pandemic funding, was questioned about his reputation by Duterte.

He criticized Gordon again for “playing God” by stating that his panel’s probe would continue “until the kingdom come” while witnesses remained “evasive” in addressing lawmakers’ queries.

“I am not objecting to your kingdom come pero huwag yung mga taong inaasahan ko na makipaglaban sa Covid-19 (but don’t do this to the people I am relying on to lead the fight against Covid-19),” he said.

According to Duterte, Gordon “lacked respect” for wasting Cabinet officials’ time by summoning them to a series of hearings.

Parang nilalaro lang ninyo kami. Nagkulang kayo ng respeto para sa executive department ng gobyerno. Pag binastos ninyo ako at ang Gabinete ko, magbabastusan tayo nito (It’s like you’re playing on us. You lack respect for the executive department of government. If you insult me and my Cabinet, we will have to insult each other),” he added.

Duterte directed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last week to prepare a document ordering Cabinet officials to disregard the panel’s call.

He stated that if the Senate threatens to hold members of the Cabinet in contempt for failing to appear at their hearings, he will direct the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) not to cooperate.

If Gordon continued to “overstep his jurisdiction”, Duterte warned that there may be a “brewing constitutional crisis” caused by opposing positions from the executive and legislative branches of the government.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.