Graft raps vs Mrs. Binay had no COA sanction, Mendoza admitsBy Cynthia D. Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Audit Commissioner Heidi Mendoza on Wednesday admitted that the filing of the graft complaint against former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay was not sanctioned by the Commission on Audit (COA) although it was authorized by its legal services division.
Mendoza testified for the second time as a government witness before the Sandiganbayan’s fifth division and was cross-examined by Binay’s lawyer, Sandra Marie Olaso-Coronel.
After extracting an admission from Mendoza, Coronel did not pursue the lead and did not ask why Mendoza did not secure an endorsement from the COA.
Coronel later declined questions by reporters to clarify Mendoza’s statement after the hearing.
Mendoza’s admission, Vice President Jejomar Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado said, proved the political motive behind the filing of the case.
“The statement elicited from Commissioner Mendoza seems to validate our long-held observation that she has been using the powers of the COA to pursue an unsanctioned, political demolition job against the Binays,” Salgado said in a press statement.
Binay, wife of the Vice President, was charged with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act along with city councilor Salvador Pangilinan, former city administrator Nicanor V. Santiago Jr., then city treasurer Ernesto A. Aspillaga and private defendant Bernadette Aquino.
In her first testimony, Mendoza linked the former mayor and several former city officials to alleged fraud in the public bidding for a P72.06-million supply contract awarded by the city government in 2001.
Originally posted: 9:17 pm | Wednesday, November 7th, 2012