‘I stand corrected’: PNP chief backpedals on COA remark
MANILA, Philippines — “I stand corrected.”
This was what Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar had to say on Thursday after his remark that the Commission on Audit (COA) should “revert to old ways” and stop sharing its audit reports to the media drew flak.
At the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum on Wednesday, Eleazar said that COA should send the audit reports to the PNP instead of releasing it to the press to avoid subjecting government agencies to premature judgement.
Eleazar said his change of opinion began after a discussion with concerned PNP officials with regards to the entire process on how disbursements work and up to the level of COA intervention.
“It was made clear to me that the COA does not issue press statements and instead, posts its audit reports on its website as part of its Constitutional mandate for transparency,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“It was also discussed that the COA has been actually doing what I have suggested by sending its observations to the PNP offices concerned and giving them enough time to review and correct its observations before a report is published in its website,” he added.
Eleazar said he has tasked all concerned units to improve their coordination with their respective resident auditors and act on their suggestion to avoid being subject of annual COA audit reports “which are eventually misconstrued as tantamount to misuse of funds, or worse, corruption.”
Eleazar also said that the PNP also takes the COA observations seriously, noting that the agency has instituted various measures to improve its budget spending based on the commission’s recommendations.
“This is also in line with the Intensified Cleanliness Policy which I launched on Day One of my tour of duty as the chief PNP which is aimed at further gaining the trust and respect of our kababayan through fast, reliable and honest public service,” he added.
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