• COA: Another institution Aquino damaged

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    The Commission on Audit had been, even through martial law, one of the most prestigious agencies of our Republic, its reputation untainted by graft or partisanship.

    With just a few months remaining for this inglorious Administration, the COA will be left as another institution damaged by President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who has turned it into a political weapon.

    Even in this rather late stage of the electoral game, this yellow regime is using the COA for its political ends, as in a report mysteriously leaked the other day alleging unliquidated funds of the Office of the Vice President. The next day, of course, as if on cue, was another accusation against Binay by former Makati vice mayor Renato Bondal – yes, the same accuser whose allegations have been proven false, yet hogged the headlines of the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s front pages for 44 nearly consecutive days. (See http://www.manilatimes.net/inquirer-vs-binay/155669/) It’s the familiar flurry of accusations for a vilification campaign.

    I had been asked in the comments section of my column why I haven’t written much about the allegations against Binay. My simple answer is: Why should I, when the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which claims to have the biggest circulation (Manila Times is just no. 4 among the broadsheets) seemed to have found as its newest cause this year the demonization of the Vice President? Why should I help it in its project, which could have been undertaken for not-so-noble reasons?

    I am not only talking about its news sections. Columnist Solita Monsod, its most widely read columnist, must have written over 50 columns against Binay, with many of the occasional contributors trying to show off, unsuccessfully, their polemical skills to vilify the candidate. Fair play, I say, so I have presented the other side to the allegations, most of which, I think, had been indisputably debunked as pure lies. And these lies, the Ombudsman insists, should be investigated in the courts.

    For example, both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) records showed that the Batangas estate belonged to a Chinese-Filipino businessman, and not to Binay. The Makati Building II’s costs were comparable in terms of price per square feet to Senate President Franklin Drilon’s Iloilo Convention Center, or to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) branches in three provinces, which all had the same contractor. Binay’s “crime” is his inarticulateness or his campaign staff’s inefficiency in debunking and burying the corruption allegations against him.

    The Office of the President’s newest attached agency? From left, COA chair Aguinaldo, former Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs; Fabia, Philippine Information Agency head, 2010- 2012; and Heidi Mendoza, Aquino’s crying, or angry, lady at Senate hearings.

    The Office of the President’s newest attached agency? From left, COA chair Aguinaldo, former Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs; Fabia, Philippine Information Agency head, 2010- 2012; and Heidi Mendoza, Aquino’s crying, or angry, lady at Senate hearings.

    But back to the COA. It was astonishing that former chair Grace Pulido-Tan claimed, when she stepped down, at the pork-barrel investigations what her legacy was: the pork-barrel exposés. How on earth could she claim that, given the fact the probe had been ordered undertaken by her predecessor who was appointed by President Arroyo, and when most of those investigated under her administration, and charged, were opposition figures like senators Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla?

    Pulido-Tan herself said two years ago that a special audit was also being undertaken to investigate the pork-barrel funds released during Aquino’s Administration, from 2010-2012.

    The report had been completed and I myself viewed a TV report in 2013 by broadcast journalist, Anthony Taberna, about that investigation. A camera even panned a copy of the actual report.

    Two years after it was completed, COA hasn’t released the report. And she has the gall to claim that she did her part in Aquino’s anti-corruption crusade?

    Is it because the COA itself received P143.7 million in 2012 from President Aquino’s scandalous “Disbursement Acceleration Plan” (DAP), which the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional? Or was it because Pulido-Tan has been angling for a position in the Supreme Court when it announced a vacancy in 2012? (Aquino, instead, appointed Marvic Leonen, who is as inexperienced in legal practice as the Chief Justice is. Is Tan still hoping she will be the last Aquino appointee in April 2016, when Justice Martin Villarama retires?)

    In the past, those appointed by Presidents as COA chair and members were people of unquestionable integrity, without the slightest taint of partisanship, such as Teofisto Guingona (chair 1986 to 1987), Eufemio Domingo (1987-1993), Celso Gangan (1994-2001), Guillermo Carague (2001-2008) and Reynaldo Villar (2004-2008), who ordered the special pork-barrel audit. It had also been a tradition for the other two members of the commission to be appointed among the COA’s veteran auditors, especially for those who spent their entire professional career in the agency.

    Contrast that to Aquino’s appointees to the COA:

    • A nearly retired Heidi Mendoza – who had vowed to pin down Binay on corruption charges many years ago, jumping several pay levels – was appointed as one of the three COA commissioners. It was Mendoza who provided Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, when she testified in Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial, with grossly false analysis that artificially bloated his bank accounts. For that monumental fabrication that whipped up a mob against the Chief Justice, she, together with Carpio-Morales, should have resigned their posts.

    • Jose A. Fabia was appointed a COA member in 2014. Who is he? The Director-General of the Philippine Information Agency since Aquino assumed office, up until 2012, when he reached the government’s retirement age. He replaced a former Liberal Party Cadiz City mayor Rowena Guanzon, who served only a year, since she was given what Aquino thinks is a more important task, as Commission on Elections member. (I am hopeful, though, that Guanzon, at the end of the day, would live up to her lofty principles.)

    • Aquino in March appointed Michael G. Aguinaldo as COA chair. Aguinaldo was the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs of the Office of the President since Aquino assumed office, and reportedly his classmate in their Ateneo days.

    Isn’t that, in his hubris, Aquino’s way of practically telling the country: “The COA, one of my favorite political weapons, has been attached to the Office of the President”?

    It is a wasteland of damaged institutions that Aquino will be leaving us with when he steps down in office a few months from now.

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
    www. rigobertotiglao.com

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    18 Comments

    1. The COA should go over with a fine tooth comb the three year re-enacted budget of GMA. Without uncovering the stink of this three year anomaly, even with Boy Sayad’s DAP and all, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

    2. UNTAINTED? I can’t believe in this. From first-hand experience, COA had always been known around military camp offices as “kuha ng kuha”. At Aguinaldo, in particular, the assigned auditors since I’ve been working there in the early 80s always have a 1 to 1.5 percent commission from ALL the contracts that shall automatically pass on each of their offices from pre to post-audit. And when the contractors fail to pay up in advance, their Purchase and Work Orders remain unsigned and unapproved. Their office employees may be seen going around the camps even running after the non-paying contractors. Terrible. Utter disregard for law and delicadeza. One employee, once jeepney-riding, is now seen around with brand new cars. How much more for the COA Auditor themselves? But how can they be found out when even the Commanders and Generals themselves are happy that they can be as corrupt as they want to be as long as the COA is happy too? The AFP, after all, gets the biggest chunk of the government’s Annual Budget.

      • Alam ko iyan totoong nangyayari iyan sa AFP naging trainee ako sa PAF noong araw, at opis Boy ako taga linis, ng opis, tig lahat sweldo na trainee noong 1974 Php45.oo lang akala ko Enlistment iyong pala trainee, wala ng magawa. 18 months yon, kaya alam ko iyan.
        Nalipat ako sa PC at naging pulis ganon din ang kalakaran.
        Percentage tama iyan.
        COA resident hindi papayag iyan pag wala sila

    3. malaking tama sir ang report mo,bkit kaya ganito mag isip ang mga politiko?wla ng silbi ang demokrasya sa pinas..

    4. Puting inang ABNOY na yan,walang ginawa ang gago kundi maghiganti,manigarilyo,pagpabaya sa kapakanan ng masa,nanuhol at magnoynoying ang gago.

    5. Now I know why you out of over a hundred supporters emailing their praise for Pamusa’s, mission has been antagonistic and even asked not to be a friend anymore. You’re a defense foil of Binay’s ill-gotten assets that are “beyond the realm of the statistical probability of his family’s combined lifetime income” according to a U.S. Justice Dept’s measure of racketeering proceeds that was a basis of conviction of several Mafia godfathers that Binay has joined the ranks.

      • The AMLC in violation of law freezed the so called 204 banks account of VP Binay. Later the AMLC was rebuked by the court for asking only 1 bank account of VP Binay with Php 1 million plus deposit be frozen what in violation of law. Susme naman talagang matindi itong si AB normal President dictator like Adolf Hitler pag ginusto makuha agad.
        Si Evil Dictator Cory ganon din pinagsisipa ang duly elected governors, city mayors, municipal mayors and other elected officials. my goodness under Marcos no one was sinipa sa pwesto.
        Oligarchs sa panahon ni Marcos nasa tabi tabi lang, sa Panahon ni Evil Dictator Cory namayagpag sila lalong yumaman sa Panahon ni AB normal President dollar billionaire na sila, hindi naman sila naging top ten o top 30 taxpayers, buti pa si Pacquiao No. 1 o No. 2 sa 2014 at John Llyod top 27.
        Ngayon, OLIGARCHS kung maari pakainin ka lang ng mongo araw araw gusto nila tapos contractual ka pa, susme ano ba yan, maraming bulag na filipino, pinaniwala ng yellow brigade si Evil Dictator Cory saint daw ala Joan of Arc sa France.
        My goodness

      • It is evident Tiglao is pro-Binay and anti-Aquino. Even when the Filipino people gave P-Noy favorable ratings, Tiglao has always succeeded in finding fault with him. Please stop lawyering for Binay.
        You have concluded that the COA has been damaged and turned into a political weapon by President Aquino. If you believe COA today is worse, you have to compare its record with COA’s under the previous administrations. What have they done and how many anomalies involving high government officials have they exposed?
        You claim the COA and Ombudsman Morales act under the direction of President Aquino but time and again, they have demonstrated their independence. Is it because your man Binay was exposed? Or Enrile, Revilla and Estrada were jailed?
        Why were the PDAF investigations not completed? It’s simply because the number of cases far exceeded the resources available. If you want faster investigations, why don’t you lobby Congress to double the budget and resources for both COA and Ombudsman?

    6. Very good analysis of the vileness of this president. Based on what he has done to his political enemies–ex-Pres. Arroyo, ex-Senate President Enrile and others — Aquino should also be tried and jailed for corruption and also for human rights violations and for criminal negligence in allowung units of the military and the PNP to commit genocide against the Lumads.

      • Yes, correct kayo diyan dapat si Commander-In-Chief AB normal President hindi na siya nag hintay para mag reinforce sa SAF44, hindi na rin kailangan ang 105MM howitzer cannon, hindi na rin kailangan ang 1 battalion na army para mag reinforce. Imagine more than 12 hours bago nakuha ang mga patay na SAF44. My goodness ang lalaki ng ulo ng mga Generals, Sec. of DND, Sec. of DILG at Presidente pero utak pala kasing laki ng MONGO kakahiya kayo.
        Ang lapit lapit lang sa tulay= ng Maganoy Bridge o Mamasapano Bridge na Kawayan ang labanan tabi lang ng ilog national highway papuntang Cotlabato City, kitang kita sa highway pag nakasakay ka ng bus.
        81MM mortar lang kahit 2 pwede na paputukin sa direction ng MILF at makaka withdraw na ang SAF44 o kung wala 81 edi gamitin ang 60MM mortar. Mga gunggong kayo.
        Ilang lang yong isang taga lagay ng mortar bala, taga direct, isang taga adjust ng mortar at isang taga buhat ng mortar 4 na tao lang pwede na. Nagawa nga iyan ng Philippine Constabulary Troopers noong araw sa Maganoy hinahabot din nila ang mga ilaga diyan. 1 squad lang o 1 platoon lang, hindi katulad ngayong mga army nag ooperate 1 company o 2 company, pag nagkahirapan 1 battalion.
        Ibalik ang PC na mas maraming nakakuha ng medalya ng valor, at kahit saan itapon Luzon Visayas Mindanao, sa gubat o bundok sinusuong. Ibalik ang PC para sa insurgency at Terrorism, ang pulis sa public safety and army sa external defense.
        Sa PC tag 2 battalion lang sa Visayas Mindanao o Luzon pwede na.

    7. Hekorba korbal on

      It’s like a game of chess….the king (P-Noy) mobilized his soldiers to attack and captured the Queen and top generals ( Enrile, Estrada and Revilla respectively) of the opposing side so that he ( P-Noy) can easily maneuver with the remaining soldiers of the king from the opposing sides. As you can see now with his ( P-Noy) successful moves he can easily maneuver and implemented what he wants even it is against the law and Constitution.

      With P-Noy stupid actions, when he will step down as president on 2016, he should be tried in court and be jailed

      • Abnoy can not be convicted from his crime against the people. He will
        argue in his defense “as with having an unstable mental capacity” or an insane person. His lawyer, almost all of whom are equally insane for collaborating with an insane person, will present as their evidence the findings on his mental incapacity while he was still in Ateneo. If the people suffer from what Abnoy has done to the country, the blame lies on the people who voted for him, likewise to all the people who abhor him but did not act to stop his madness.

    8. That’s why it is imperative that Filipino Voters should not vote Roxas or all corrupt practices of PNOY will all be buried and forgotten. Pnoy has a lot to answer for including the unconstitutional DAP, SAF 44 massacre, Yolanda Fund, Hacienda Luisita and more.