COA has been politicized


The disclosure the other day that the Commission on Audit (COA) itself received last year P143.7 million from President Aquino’s scandalous “Disbursement Acceleration Plan” (DAP) funds is a body blow to its credibility as nonpartisan, nonpolitical guardian of government funds.

Can COA claim that it is not partisan for this administration when the President in effect junked the budget for the agency that the 2012 Appropriations Law allotted, and gave it another P144 million from the DAP kitty, P5 million of which were spent to buy the commissioners brand-new cars?

Recall what the DAP funds are. These are monies allocated for uses specified by under the budget laws, but which Aquino falsely declared as “savings” and then used according to his wishes.

It is in effect the President’s own gargantuan pork barrel in disguise.

Just as legislators directed how their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) would be used, the President had his DAP—totaling P158 billion from 2011-2013—and which he used anyway he chose to. For example, Aquino ordered from the DAP money an additional 2012 fund of P8 billion for the Autonomous Region For Muslim Mindanao, over and above the P13 billion the appropriations law gave the regional government notorious as a black hole for government money.

*A dash in COA table, not zero **Not anywhere mentioned in COA report, as if they weren’t senators Source: COA Special Audits Office Report No. 2012-03, Table 4, pages 13 to 14, and only for “soft” PDAF releases.

*A dash in COA table, not zero
**Not anywhere mentioned in COA report, as if they weren’t senators
Source: COA Special Audits Office Report No. 2012-03, Table 4, pages 13 to 14, and only for “soft” PDAF releases.

Isn’t the P144 million the COA got clearly a form of largesse extended by the President to an entity that is, under the constitution, an independent body?

COA chair Grace Pulido-Tan’s explanation for the money it got from the President was actually shocking, coming from the head of a constitutionally independent body: “I requested the DBM [for funds]because when I got into COA, we found out that we were behind in terms of computerization.”

Tan seems to confuse her position now as COA chair from her post from 2002 to 2005 when she was part of the executive branch as a finance department undersecretary. The COA is not part of the executive branch but one of the three independent constitutional commissions, the other two being the Civil Service Commission and the Commission on Elections.

COA not part of Executive Branch
It is not the DBM (the department of budget and management) which COA asks for funds, as this would one way or another make it beholden to the executive branch of government, which is its task to audit. It is the second branch of government—Congress—which determines its budget through the appropriations laws that body enacts. It has to be in congressional hearings that COA has to argue that it needs this much for computerization. Or did COA want to hide its purchase of cars, which it would have been able to do so in secret meetings with the DBM?

COA has strived to portray itself as a crusading agency. However, what kind of auditor—or even crime investigator—would theatrically call, as COA head Pulido-Tan did, the findings of its special audit on pork barrel funds as “kahindik-hindik” (abominable) even without getting the side of those she in effect accuses of high crime?

A partisan one, a politicized auditor playing a crucial part in a plot to debilitate the opposition way before the 2016 elections.

There are three things that show that for the first time in our nation’s modern history—something not even the dictator Marcos attempted to do—the COA has been politicized, “weaponized” by Aquino against his enemies.

First, a nearly retiring Heidi Mendoza jumped several pay levels to be appointed as one of the three COA commissioners. (The third commissioner is former Cadiz mayor Rowena Guanzon, whose legal expertise though has never been in auditing, but in violence against women. It is a puzzle why Guanzon was made a commissioner, breaking the traditional practice of having at least two commissioners coming from the COA’s ranks.)

One may argue that Mendoza deserved the post because of her tearful performance in testifying about corruption in the military’s top brass.

Her crucial tasking though for Aquino emerged when she provided Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, who testified in Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial, with misleading analysis that bloated his bank accounts. While grossly false (transactions were counted as accounts, so that Corona was portrayed as having $10 million), it wrongly portrayed Corona as having so much unexplained wealth that it provided the senators the smokescreen for finding him guilty. (Carpio-Morales even tried unsuccessfully to have Mendoza take the witness stand, and she apparently had prepared another theatrical performance, this time against the chief justice.)

Audit, only of the opposition
Second, the COA special audit on the use pork barrel funds focused almost entirely, except for a few, on those by opposition legislators. It audited nearly all of the pork barrel funds of opposition Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon Revilla. However, it examined only 10 percent or less of the pork barrel funds of such pro-Aquino senators as the Cayetano siblings, Manuel Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes.

In its report, the COA claimed that this was the DBM’s fault, as it didn’t submit documents involving other non-opposition lawmakers, especially senators. This claim though is appearing to be false, as COA auditors have copies of each and every financial transaction by government agencies. At any rate, is it fair to make public the audit of the use of pork barrel only by the opposition?

The special audit was started three years ago in May, and finished, I was told, sometime late 2012. Pulido-Tan however would wait only last August to release it, after public outrage against the pork-barrel system and the opposition senators had been created by the series of exposés by alleged whistle-blowers in the country’s biggest newspaper.

Did Pulido-Tan coordinate her release of the report with the political section of this administration?

Did Budget Secretary Florencio Abad—or even President Aquino—receive an advance copy, or a draft of the special audit months before it was released? That would explain why Aquino made sure all three of the COA members were loyal to him, and didn’t include a career official.

Did such a draft prod this administration, through the justice department and its National Bureau of Investigation, to undertake an operation to get the staff of Janet Napoles, the alleged pork-barrel scam brains, to rat against her and against the opposition legislators, in a vivid way that a COA report couldn’t?

The disclosure that COA received P144 million in DAP certainly shows that the agency has likely been in bed with the administration since the new commissioners were appointed.

Where is the 2010-2012 audit?
Third, COA head Pulido-Tan had claimed that it had also audited Congress’ PDAF under Aquino, from 2010 to 2012. It has not however made its study public, even as one enterprising broadcast journalist, Anthony Taberna, three months ago made one report on it. A camera in Taberna’s program even panned a copy of the actual report. Why isn’t the COA releasing the report?

Aquino’s cabal obviously had underestimated the outrage against the pork barrel system created by its propaganda drive it only intended to demonize and debilitate the opposition for the 2016 elections.

However, it led to the Supreme Court decision ruling the pork-barrel system as unconstitutional, weakening this administration’s hold over Congress. It also led to the exposé of Aquino’s secret mammoth pork barrel called the DAP which likely would also be struck down by the high court as illegal.

Indeed, as that 18th century poet very aptly put it, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Aquino bought off the legislature, the second branch of our Republic, through the pork barrel system and his DAP, in order to remove the head of the Supreme Court, the third branch, so he could control it.

His mother’s over-the-hump bodyguard was put in charge of our national defense and disaster management; his own close-in security in the 1980s was put in charge of peace and order; and his planned successor was put to oversee local government to help him build a nationwide network for the 2016 elections.

The Commission on Elections, one of the three independent constitutional bodies, was used to jail his predecessor on trumped up electoral sabotage case, in which the main witness is a top plotter of the most gruesome massacre in our nation’s history.

And finally: This year it is another independent constitutional body, the Commission on Audit that he has debased, and made into his political weapon.

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

I am still hoping though that the three women in the COA would show balls that men in the other institutions obviously don’t. and


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  1. Itong si Sam obvious tool of Malacanang. Paid from taxpayers money of course. Propaganda BS. Tama ka na hoy.

  2. Thank you Mr. Tiglao for your truthfull reporting. You are one of the few that
    provide the people an honest to goodness appreciation of the facts. You are
    very right COA was politicized and so with Congress, the Comelec and the Supreme
    Court. That means there is no more check and balance between the branches of
    government. Now we understand why Pulido Tan of COA was so selective in
    bringing out only the opposition in the PDAP. If I understand it right, she admitted
    that COA also received $143 million from the DAP. Being a beneficiary of the loot,
    COA now losses its credibility to independently check the other branches of government. Pulido Tan I believed does not fully understand the meaning of independence. If you go to court, go to court with clean hands. And how can you
    exercise independence and fairness to everyone or how can you bite or prosecute
    the hands that fed you? Better have an independent auditor in the likes of SGV(Sycip,
    Gorres and Velayo) to independently audit PDAP & DAP rather COA who is now
    politicized and remain subservient to abnoy.

  3. I believe that COA is led by a professional manager and by ethical employes. I dn’t believe the employees are as rich as the employees of BOC.
    The employees of COA go thorough a lot of training on ethics and auditing but I am not sure whether the senators and congressmen who were charged have been trained. If yes, they’re being negligent.

  4. How can the COA be independent now when it also partook of the loot(DAP). When
    you go to court you must go to court with clean hands. Does Pulido Tan have clean
    hands. I don’t believe so. Certainly there is a conflict of interest. How can it
    exercise check and balances when the COA itself was also a beneficiary of the DAP?
    What happen if the Supreme Court declares it as unconstitutional? Just say sorry?
    This is the worst administration the country has ever had. They no longer follow the
    rule of law. They just spend taxpayers money they way the want to satisfy their whims.Whatever abnoy wants, he get it no matter what. Ano pa ang silbe ng batas
    kong ang president mismo ay hindi naman sumusunod? Gaya ng PDAP? The
    Supreme Court declared it as unconstitutional. What happen now to these responsible
    in the release, spending of these funds? Just pat in the back or just say sorry and that’s it? Properly implementing the law is the proper way to command respect from
    all citizens. This country is now going to the dogs. Ang presidente misno ay hindi
    na sumusunod sa batas. Imagine? practically all the independent branches/offices
    has been corrupted? Are we now under a lawless society?

  5. prosperity_guardian on

    Well, I do agree, amazed and in awe that the administration was able to weaponize the COA as a potent tool against corruption, and that also goes with the BIR as we can see and as far as I personally know of their activities. It has never before happened until now.

    But here’s the grave problem: Their sights are trained more against the political adversaries than being true to their mandate; that is, going after those wrongdoers whether allies or not so as to uphold our laws and see to it that justice is served. That is what the public wants to happen. Unfortunately, that may just be a wishful thinking, which may never happen during this administration’s term. It’s a shame that our present government wasted a great opportunity just because of politicking…

  6. nasasagasaan kasi ang mga kasama at kapartido ng mga nakaraang administration at mga nasa oposisyon…isang taktika ay ang gumamit ng PR – public relation…tila totoo nga ang nabanggit ni pnoy noong kanyang nakaraang tv appearance…kung hindi nyo magawang bumango, pabahuin nyo na lang lahat, kung hindi ninyo magawang aysuin ay guluhin nyo na lahat at kung hindi nyo magawang gumwapo ay papangitin na lang ninyo lahat…ito ay tumutukoy sa mga kasalukuyang nagaganap…gamit gamit na ng mga nasasagasaan ang paraang ito…kaya ngayon pinapapangit, pangugulo at pinababaho upang sa kanilang pagaakalang kayang nilang idiskaril ang hakbang ng pamahalaang ipakulong ang lahat ng kurap…

  7. My counter response to Mr. Tigalo:

    Then I’m right that eversince COA was already politicized. So it is very unjust that you unload all the burden and fault to Abnoy (as your supporters like to call PNOY) administration with regards to the current state of affairs of COA. Remember that he is the 15th President of this Republic and he just inherit all the problems of the past administrations just like your former Boss did inherit it to ERAP. However, I’m with the general opinion that Abnoy is not as competent as your former Boss but Abnoy is not as corrupt as your former Boss and ERAP…

    • problems can be inherited, but corruption should never be a legacy…

      Let us see after your president ends his term, let us see. Well, their is sereno anyway… Can you now see the vicious cycle?

    • ano ho ang tawag mo sa taong gumagamit ng pera ng taong bayan para ipangbabribe sa mga senador at congressmen to dislodge the sitting Chief Justice and also for political patronage?what do you call a person who corrupts almost everyone using money not his own?Corruptor,that is how Aquino is….

  8. Im sure they will release the coa report pertaining to 2010-2012 pdaf and dap..maybe they are preparing it carefully so that they can explain it. as far as corruption is concerned, this administration is no different from the previous ones only that we have a president who only knows how to blame others for his failures..

  9. its amazing mr tigao paranoia never ceases … as if he has to continue ad infinitum to keep money from his patron forever.

  10. Federico Santos on

    it’s now crystal clear that most of the high Gov’t. Officials including P’noy are liar. COA Chairperson said: COA buys CARs using money from DAP. But recently, DBM Sec. bad said, the money used was from saving. who’s saving is from? BIR Head Henares also said, Pacquioa submitted only letter from Top Rank Promotions to proved that tax tax was deducted from the Top Boxer. It was shown recently that document sans original about Tax payment. Ombudsman Morales testified before Senate Impeachment Trial that the former CJ Corona has US$ 10M deposit, but till now, no proof about it. DOJ Sec De Lima said that a case against the second batch of Lawmakers is to be file next week., however after almost a month, no case has been filed. This is really an abnormal administration and a showbiz type of governance. they thought Pinoy are dull and bite whatever they says so in the Media. but if they are cornered about their inconsistency. P’noy warned not resort to media has he did to Boxing Icon MP.

    • We have been suffering not just now and for the next three years, but ever since we declared total independence.

      We were not ready yet to run a government but we have chosen to have a government run like hell by Filipinos rather than like heaven by Americans.

      Look at places like Hongkong and others who had been stabilized by the British or by the Americans before claiming complete freedom of governance – they came out more educated and selfless, and even more economically competitive.

  11. COA has been politicized..yes that’s very accurate Mr. Tiglao. COA was politicized already during your heyday at the Palace with GMA (whom your getting your sebo and other notoriusly corrupt Generals para hindi bumaliktad)…Abnoy just inherited it..

    • All commissioners during PGMA’s term rose from the COA’s ranks. PGMA appointed as chairman of COA in 2002 Guillermo Carague, one of the most trusted officials of Presidents Aquino and Ramos. When Carague’s term ended in 2008, PGMA appointed as chairman Reynaldo Villar, who had risen from the ranks, and had been with the COA for 25 years. It was VIllar who ordered in May 2010 the special audit of PDAF funds.

      RIgoberto Tiglao

    • Yeah,but Abnoy promised in his campaign that he will do the opposite.Kung sabagay madaling mangako if in his mind Filipinos are so gullible so whatever he promised will only be good during the campaign,once elected everything is thrown out na…Look he even surpassed GMA’s notoriety…

  12. Why did COA asked for funds from DBM when the Agency is supposed to audit the transactions of DBM? The credibility and integrity of COA is now shattered by the shameful act of Grace Pulido Tan.

    • then give them the money so that they will not ask funds from any government agency…try taking a minute to think…where do you think the COA will get its funds?

    • COA should have ask budget from congress and not from DBM.That explains everything why Pulido-Tan did a “kahindikhindik “audit only of the opposition and not of the allies.Now she lost her credibility if she ever had it at all.The next best thing that she should do is to resign from her post,apparently she also possessed a thick face just like her boss in malacanang…

  13. Federico Santos on

    I can’t understand why the present administration continuously pouring money to the ARMM. Billions has been previously released and continuously releasing to the ARMM. Yet, the region still underdeveloped and high percentage of poverty. The previous ARMM Regional Governor and perhaps the present one including their cohorts local and other officials, has several huge safety vaults to hide their money and others unexplained wealth. Is this a warning to the President to cautiously release money to the ARMM. the COA should have conduct strict audit composed of auditor with unblemished and untainted records. Auditors that are capable to say no to million of bribe money. Governors controlled all projects and constructed by their dummies using the license shadow construction company’s from Metro Manila using substandard materials. pls stop this perennial practice to save and develpe ARMM. However, I expressed doubt if u can stop and put an end to this highly illegal, irregular and scandalous corruption as the you are continuously receiving commission from these corrupt local officials.

    • to tame them so they will not give him headaches,apparently this radical group knew how to play their games,they’re no different from other greedy politicians and Noynoy’s ilks…and they played it do well..

  14. Nasan na nag magagaling na tagaPag tanggol no annoy na madalas ko makitang tinitira si mr. Tiglao?

  15. R. Tiglaos Revelation and Exposure of the Truth of the Pork Barrel Culture of Dependency and Bought Politics reveals Why as well as All the reasons behind our movement – Total Abolition of the PORK BARREL SYSTEM AND CULTURE.

  16. so many people i know who championed BSAquino are so disillusioned. they now believe him to be the worst president ever and makes PGMA saintly. at least with the former President, we had an intelligent, hardworking official whose economic programs continues to reap handsome returns for the Phl, which of course this idiot Pnoy claims as his achievement.

    • i pity you david…sayang ang iyong pangalan…DAVID…the young ordinary man who killed goliath…mas ninanais mo pa ang isang pangulong nakakulong ngayon sa kasong plunder at electoral fraud kaysa sa taong alam mong hindi magnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan…what gma has attained in economic stage of our country has been surpassed by the present administration…read the entire newspaper not just this article…

    • I do agree with you David when you said that Abnoy is the worst ever making GMA saintly,however I’m not one of those disillusioned because I know it from the start that he will never be a good one based on his non performance in both as congressman and senator.I can not even tell if his honest because he lied so many times in the past and present.Actually hindi mo na kailangang maconvince ng mga yellowtards,tumingin ka lang sa paligid mo at tanungin mo sarili,how’s life today compared per Aqino days?my answer is…the worsiest ever!!!!

  17. COA is a big disappointment. It is supposed to be independent in theory, but in practice, it is not; it is just another inept agency manipulated like a puppet by the President. Whatever the President tells it to do, it does – no questions asked! BS Aquino ordered it to release audit reports on how his political enemies used their pork barrel funds from 1997 to 1999, it did! Through this audit report, now we know that Tanda, Pogi and Sexy allegedly abused their pork allocations by channelling most of them through Napoles’ bogus NGOs for kickbacks.

    The big disappointment though with COA is that it did not release, and won’t release the names of dozens of other legislators who are allied with the President. Also, COA would not release the audit reports on how pork barrel funds were disbursed by legislators under Aquino’s watch from 2010 to 2012. Did the President order the COA Chairperson not to release the audit reports on his Congress allies? Is BS Aquino a crook-coddler?

    As commentator Victorts suggests, it’s time to make the COA, Ombudsman and Comelec truly independent by NOT getting their chairmen appointed by the President, but by an independent committee composed of qualified people as prescribed by the Constitution.

    • I agree that Chief Justice,COA and COMELEC should not be appointed by the president to shield them from being corrupted or influenced by the appointing power…

  18. Noynoy Aquino may be an incompetent & inept president, but make no mistake about it. He is not that stupid as what we think him to be. He is wily & pernicious operator. He knows how to use his power to the hilt. For that we have to be on guard. His subterfuge has to be exposed.

    • Let us trust the President and be wary of people na mga plastic surrounding him. Mga langaw na nakadikit sa kalabaw who feels they are kalabaws. so pesky.

  19. Eat your heart out Mr. Tiglao. PNoy is a far better president than your former boss and you are just bitter on the results of his daang matuwid policies

    • Better? MarcoS, Estrada and GMA never politicised the Supreme Court. Liberal Party and its cohorts politicized the Court even when NoyNoy was not yet in power.


    • it is expected to an ally of the past administration to have this kind of tactics…

      Rigoberto Tiglao – appointed as Presidential Spokesperson with Cabinet rank by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on April 23, 2001, Press Secretary on April 1, 2002 and as Presidential Chief of Staff on December 9, 2002…until he was assigned as ambassador no other than by GMA…

    • I don’t really see any “daang matuwid”in this adminastration.It’s been more than three years now but all I see is a”crooked path”that leads us the road to perdition.I don’t understand why some people on here can’t see it clearly.It’s so baffling.Are they still in denial?

  20. karen hernandez on

    However, it examined only 10 percent or less of the pork barrel funds of such pro-Aquino senators as the Cayetano siblings, Manuel Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes.?
    ?? Manuel Pangilinan??

  21. Felix Servidad on

    Isa isa na silang umaamin ay nadudulas pala, una si Abad sa DAP at ngayon si Pulido
    naman. Talagang alang bahong hinde nangangamoy maski ipagka tago tago ito me katapusan din yan antayin Lang natin ang disisyon mtaas na hukuman tungkol sa DAP si Abad na mismo ang nag sabi na baka ma impeach si Pnoy pag hinde pinaburan ng hukuman ang DAP ni Pnoy.
    Ngayon naman ang tinira nila ay si Pacquiao para ang kapalpakan nila sa nag daang bagyong Yolanda, sa hinde pag tugon kaagad ng tulong sa mga nasalanta ay matakpan
    pinipigilan pa nilang magsalita si Pacquiao sa media, bakit! sila nga inakusahan nila si
    GMA sa media rin naman me napatunayan na ba sila sa mga akusasyon nila Kay GMA?
    Sabagay weder weder lang yan ika nga. Pagkatapos ng kanyang termino baka magaya din sya Kay GMA kung matatapos pa ang kanyang termino? Antayin na Lang natin.

  22. If COA, the Ombudsman, the Comelec are in the pocket of Aquino, how then can the Filipino people get fair treatment, be sure that who they voted for are the ones proclaimed as winners, and the right erring officials are the ones being investigated? Is it about time that the heads of these supposed to be independent bodies per out constitution be selected not by the President, but by committees whose members are selected by the constitution per their published and well-known calling?

  23. If it is true, as Mr. Tiglao and his comment-contributing fans and other Aquino critics have been claiming, that this President is Abnoy, has no ability to focus on serious work and spends more time playing computer games with his sister Kris’ kids, then who is the evil genius that has been mapping out these corrupt diabolical moves in our country?

    • who else but the diabolical triumvirate of Drilon,Roxas and Abad.Noynoy just give them orders and then back to playing his favorite games with Joshua…

  24. Based on this article, “Daang Matuwid” could be defined as: “The straight path is the line being toed by those who get the grease.”

  25. Di ba mas grabe ang paninira ni Noynoy sa political system ng Pilipinas na masasabi natin na mas grabe pa sa paninira ni Typhoon Yolanda na maaring pasanin
    ng taong bayan ng ilang henerasyon? Napakababa ang kalidad ng pamumuno ni Noynoy na kailangan natin pagtiisan sa mahigit pang dalawang taon.

  26. noynoy has achieved dashing and demolishing the last fine thread of hope that every filipino citizen has for better future. he betrayed his bosses -and may his words “kayo ang boss ko” haunt him for the rest of his life.

    • You’re all naive,don’t be gullible.When he says “kayo ang bosses “people take it seriously.If you’re working in a company,and your boss tells you to do something for her that is work related,you follow his order.In the case of Noynoy,when his bosses tells him to remove all the pork barrel,he never listens,in fact he even plans to go around to further fool his bosses,but God intervenes,unfortunately in a very tragic way,but exposes him further on what kind of human being he is…

  27. Kahindik hindik talaga! Ang “tuwid na daan” tanhindik hindik. Ang “kung walang corrupt ay walang mahirap”- tanhindik hindik din. Ang BIR tanhindik hindik din. Ang Commission on Election – tanhindik hindik din. Ang DBM? Ang Yolanda disaster with more than 5,000 plus ang namatay (hindi 1,000 as the figure this administration wanted and blame the Mayor for not being prepared) tanhindik hindik din. What else?