Duterte to COA: Stop flagging agencies, don’t publish report | Inquirer News
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Duterte to COA: Stop flagging agencies, don’t publish report

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 03:05 AM August 17, 2021
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Commission on Audit. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) should stop flagging government transactions and publishing its report as they would taint agencies with “corruption by perception,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in his weekly taped briefing that started airing late Monday night and ended early Tuesday.

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“Stop that flagging, goddamnit. You make a report, do not flag. Do not publish it because it will condemn the agency or the person you are flagging,” Duterte said.

“What you are doing is flogging. Striking. Please don’t. You keep on flagging but then nobody gets jailed, nobody at all. When you flag, there is already a taint of corruption by perception,” he added.

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The president also lamented how transactions would pass through local auditors only for them to be questioned later.

“When they get to the top for auditing, there’s a hitch. You blame now the procurement, the mayor, whoever. Leche na yan [Damn that]. Just remove the auditors at the bottom. It’s wrong. Just make one audit, your audit [at the main office],” Duterte said.

He added that the COA should not conduct an audit of ongoing work while documents were still being processed, saying it would not be “fair” to the people involved in the project.

The president stressed the COA’s preliminary audit would become “gospel truth” and spark “suspicion” once released to the press.

“Now, once they have their preliminary audit. they will have an exit conference and they will release that [report]. That paper of the preliminary audit, once you release it to media, becomes the gospel truth. Immediately, there’s already suspicion,” Duterte said.

“The problem there is the papers they are holding are really insufficient and deficient. Do not conduct an audit while my work is not yet finished. Do not conduct an audit on our work that’s ongoing because it’s still being documented,” he added.

Duterte hit the COA after it found “deficiencies” in the handling of the Department of Health of P67.32 billion worth of COVID-19 funds.

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TAGS: COA, COA's flagging of agencies, Commission On Audit, Rodrigo Duterte
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