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Robredo Says Vice President Can't Act as COA

It's within the COA for a reason, the VP said.
by Erwin Colcol
Aug 29, 2021
Photo/s: OVP

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said auditing the entire government is not a mandate of her office, contrary to what President Rodrigo Duterte plans to do if he gets elected to the same position in the 2022 elections.

The Commission on Audit is mandated by the 1987 Constitution to check how taxpayers' money is spent. As a constitutional body, it is separate from the executive, judiciary and legislative branches of government, Robredo said.

"Wala yun sa mandato namin. Yung mandato ng VP ay succession lang. Creative na lang kami kaya meron kaming anti-poverty program, meron kaming programa sa COVID," Robredo said during her weekly radio program.

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Duterte on Thursday said that should he become vice president in 2022, he would audit the COA and other government agencies after state auditors flagged "deficiencies" in the P67-billion pandemic budget of the Department of Health, sparking public outrage.

"Somebody should do it. I will --- I will do that if I become vice president. Ako na lang rin ang mag-audit sa lahat ng gobyerno. Lahat, pati 'yung akin, mag-umpisa ako sa akin," he said.

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Robredo said there are other ways to show that one is serious in the fight against corruption in the government, such as being open to publicizing the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN.

"Yung SALN, isa yan sa napakalaking dahilan para ipakita mo na bukas yung lahat ng information, pagpapakita na walang corruption," she said.

"Yung mga tao sa paligid mo, pagpapakita yun kung anong klase ba. Kung yung mga tao sa paligid mo nai-involve sa corruption, mahirap naman yatang paniwalaan," she added.

Robredo also said the Office of the President is the most important office to lead the fight against corruption like what the administration of the late President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III did.

"Yung kay PNoy noon, ang daming bagong in-introduce para mabawasan yung corruption. Hindi completely nawala pero at least yung sistema in place. Ang daming ginawa para mabawasan ito," she said.

The COA earned the ire of the President after the body's audit report on the Department of Health flagged its use of some P67 billion in pandemic funds. It however clarified that it did not allege corruption in its report.

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