MANILA, Philippines?The 2009 Commission on Audit report that showed the National Food Authority suffered losses amounting to P100 billion in 10 years is important in building a case against officials responsible for the alleged irregularities in the past administration's rice program, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, however, said that Malacañang has yet to get hold of a copy of the state audit agency's findings on the government's subsidized rice program.
?We don't know the exact details of the of the (Commission on Audit) report other than those that was mentioned in your paper,? Lacierda said in a news briefing, referring to the Inquirer exclusive on the multi-billion-peso NFA losses reported by the COA.
?The COA report is important as a basis to proceed with any prosecution,? he added.
Aside from the 2009 COA findings the NFA also tapped an audit team that branded as ?legalized smuggling? the rice importation program in the last three years of the Arroyo administration.
?We'd withhold comment until we get a briefing from the NFA or until the President can get a copy of the report from the NFA,? Lacierda added.
President Benigno Aquino as early as in the first days of his administration ordered an investigation on the Arroyo government's rice program after the NFA under new administrator Lito Banayo found the NFA warehouses filled with too much rice.