Atty. Rivera Questions COA's Alleged Partisan Investigation on Corruption Issues Under Duterte Admin


Veteran San Beda lawyer and prominent social media personality Atty. Bruce Villafuerte Rivera made an interesting question involving the Commission on Audit on social media for their alleged partisan investigation on corruption issues against government officials.



According to Atty. Rivera if indeed COA is free of any political patronage and leanings, why have these cases been conveniently unanswered. When a government office like COA is doing their job, Filipinos applaud, however, it becomes suspect when it suddenly becomes super vigilant while remaing lackadaisical on matters of concern in the administration that appointed them.

The veteran lawyer and self-confessed Duterte defender noted that he was just asking some very valid questions, because there are matters that we should focus on instead of fights because of kisses and apologies referring to the Kris and Mocha issue.

Atty. Bruce Rivera also enumerated the list of Commissioners working for the Commission on Audit (COA) as he noted that only one of them is a certified accountant who was appointed by Pres. Rody Duterte while the remaining two commissioners served at the Office of the President during Aquino's term and they were appointed by the former President Noynoy Aquino.



Here's the Complete Statement of Atty. Bruce Rivera:

LET US FOCUS ON THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT (COA)

Many Filipinos have been applauding the recent spate of corruption issues exposed due in part to the diligence of the Commission on Audit. It gave the impression that indeed this constitutional body is hell bent in exposing corruption through its AAR or Annual Audit Reports.

Do not get me wrong, this is how I expect a COA should function. Sound the alarm, if there is corruption. However, when the COA becomes clearly partisan and negates the very constitutional mandate of independence it purports to be as the auditor of the people, then we have a problem.

Ordinary employees of the COA are now scratching their heads. All of a sudden, the COA released AAR for 2017 to the media containing many entries which may appear to be questionable but upon further investigation are not really questionable transactions. Davao City for example was scrutinized but was later on absolved. OSG Calida was singled out even if it was common knowledge that they had allowances for legitimate purposes. Of course, those reports that pointed to anomalous transactions are always a welcome relief because corruption is corruption whether done under the present administration or in past administrations.

Here is where my suspicion starts to ferment. This is the FIRST TIME the COA released the ARR to the media, that is, the Annual Audit Report for 2017. It is not their practice to release ARR to the media the past years. And if the COA is using the policy of fiscal transparency of the Duterte government as a reason, why did they NOT release the ARR for 2016? Is it because it still included the past administrations financial transactions?

So you would wonder, am I saying that the COA is partisan? I let you judge by looking at the members of the commission.



Its Chairman is Atty. Michael Aguinaldo who will serve until 2022. He was appointed by PNoy on 24 March 2015. Before his appointment to the COA, he was Deputy Executive Secretary of the Office of the President during PNoy's time.

Commission Jose Fabia is a lawyer and politician. He served as the President of PhilHealth in the 1990's and during PNoy's term was appointed as head of the Philippine Information Agency from 2010 to 2012. He was appointed on 2 May 2014 and will serve until 2020.

The only CPA lawyer in the Commission is Atty. Roland Pondoc who was appointed by PRD on 6 Feb 2018 and will serve until 2025. He is a son of Mindanao. He is an accomplished member of the academe in both law and accountancy before he joined government as Assistant Executive Secretary to the Office of the President under PRD.

So let us do the math, there are three commissioners of the COA and two of whom are PNoy appointees.

There is nothing really wrong if you are a PNoy appointee for as long as you maintain your independence and probity as members of the COA. But let me now ask the COA these very basic questions:

First, how is it that you are able to release the AAR for 2017 but have not done so in 2016 and the past years?

Second, why is the COA not able to flag and report on highly anomalous transactions like the Busan project which was almost PhP4 billion pesos which was done through negotiated procurement under the Government Procurement Policy Board which at that time was composed of Pnoy Cabinet members?

Third, why is the COA silent on the status of pork barrel audit cases pending in their office involving several LP politicians when it was very assiduous in giving the COA report that crucified Bong Revilla, JPE and Jinggoy Estrada?



Fourth, why is the COA silent on the license plates procurement of the LTO when even up to this date has no delivery and execution?

Fifth, how come the P10.6 billion fund intended for the expansion of the Senior Citizens Law was not flagged and reported to the media when clearly there was reallignment of the intended use of the money? In short, if Sen. JV Ejercito did not inquire on the fiscal status of PhilHealth, we would not have known that indeed some funds were not used as jntended. Fabia, as the former President of PhilHealth, would not have missed this glaring inconsistency when even amounts like P3,800/night hotel room by PhilHealth OIC have caught their attention.

If indeed the COA is free of any political patronage and leanings, why have these cases been conveniently unanswered when if we will be judging from how they are doing their work now, should have been addressed with the same swiftness.

When a government office is doing their job, we usually applaud. However, it becomes suspect when it suddenly becomes super vigilant while remaining lackadaisical on matters of concern in the administration that appointed them.

Again, I am just asking some very valid questions. Because these are matters that we should focus on instead of fights because of kisses and apologies.

Bruce Villafuerte Rivera
Martin Andanar
Sara Zimmerman Duterte 
Mans Carpio
Pompee La ViƱa

Source: Atty. Bruce Rivera FB Page


Atty. Rivera Questions COA's Alleged Partisan Investigation on Corruption Issues Under Duterte Admin Atty. Rivera Questions COA's Alleged Partisan Investigation on Corruption Issues Under Duterte Admin Reviewed by Phil Newsome on 6/08/2018 Rating: 5

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