MANILA, Philippines?Whistleblower Heidi Mendoza is still reflecting on the news that President Benigno Aquino III would offer her a ranking post at the Commission on Audit, according to her media liason, Fr. Bert Alejo.
According to Alejo, Mendoza has not yet received any formal communication from the Office of the President. ?She only heard it in the news,? Alejo said.
?Let us give Heidi time to reflect,? he said.
Mendoza, in a letter to the Inquirer, clarified news reports that she wanted to head the COA. According to her, she did not seek the chairmanship of the agency.
?When I was asked if ?tatangapin mo ba ang chairmanship of COA (would you accept the chairmanship) if offered by the President,? I replied that I am still praying for it?meaning, if God wanted me to return to government service or to stay as a private citizen passionately involved in various initiatives toward good government,? she said.
News reports had said Mendoza was praying that she would be appointed COA chair.
Mendoza stressed that she ?never applied? to be the COA chair. ?I applied for the post of commissioner, knowing fully well that there is so much I can do to save the case that I was handling at that time which I never knew would be back in the national limelight,? she said.
Mendoza, a former government auditor, had provided the audit reports that became the basis of the plunder charges against former Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, the disgraced former Armed Forces comptroller accused of pocketing more than P300 million in military funds.
In Singapore, President Aquino told reporters on Friday that Mendoza was assured of a ?ranking position? at COA.
Aquino said he would have to talk to Mendoza first because she had told him that she would have to consult her family before making any decision to return to government service.
?I think as a minimum, she will be a COA commissioner. If she becomes a commissioner, then the COA chair has to be a lawyer as mandated by law,? Aquino said.
?When I last talked to her, one of the things she emphasized was that she was not able to tell her family beforehand when she decided to become a witness. So she said (this time), she has to consult her family. We have not talked since them,? he added.
Mendoza testified in Congress to belie the Ombudsman?s claim that the government case against Garcia was weak and this was why it had entered into a plea bargain with the former general, allowing him to face lesser charges in exchange for returning less than half of the money he allegedly stole. With Philip C. Tubeza in Singapore