Lagman reminds Duterte: COA not accountable to the President | Inquirer News
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Lagman reminds Duterte: COA not accountable to the President

/ 11:30 AM August 17, 2021
Lagman duterte

Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman. INQUIRER.net file photo / NOY MORCOSO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has no jurisdiction over the Commission on Audit (COA) to order it to stop its audit of government transactions, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Tuesday.

Lagman made the remark after Duterte, during his weekly public address, told state auditors to stop flagging government transactions and publishing its report in light of its report on the deficiencies of the Department of Health (DOH) in handling of the P67 billion pandemic funds.

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“President Rodrigo Duterte has no authority to stop the Commission on Audit (COA) from performing its constitutional mandate of safeguarding the utilization of public funds and making public the results of its audit,” Lagman said in a statement.

“Duterte conveniently forgot that COA is an independent constitutional commission which is not accountable to the president,” he added.

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Lagman said it is the mandate of COA to disclose “sanctionable negligence” of major government departments and agencies to utilize public funds.

“The right of the people to information cannot be negated and quashed by invoking that officials should be shielded from ‘corruption by perception,’” he said.

“Instead of immobilizing COA, Duterte must order the prosecution of the responsible officials of the agencies flagged by COA and accord them due process,” he added.

On Monday night, Duterte said COA’s controversial preliminary audit reports taint government agencies with “corruption by perception.”

The president further said the preliminary audit would run the risk of becoming “gospel truth” and spark “suspicion” once released to the press. — McKenzie Kinsella, trainee

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TAGS: Commission On Audit, DOH deficiencies, Edcel Lagman, pandemic funds, Rodrigo Duterte
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