Jinggoy gets chance to confront COA chief

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Sen. Jinggoy Estrada (left) wants to know from COA Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan why she is singling him out in the COA report on pork barrel releases. PHOTOS BY EDWIN MULI

SENATOR Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada took advantage of the budget hearing in the Senate to confront Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan, whom he had accused of singling him out in the agency’s pork barrel investigation.

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Estrada asked Tan why he was being singled out by Tan, citing a statement attributed to her that he will be the first to receive a “notice of disallowance” from state auditors.

A notice of disallowance is a tool of the COA to retrieve public funds which the commission found to have been misused.

Estrada, former senate president Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr. were among those found by COA to have channeled millions of pork barrel funds to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) controlled by Janet Lim Napoles.

Tan said she did make the statement to the media but insisted she is not focusing on Estrada. She said she only wanted to make sure Estrada receives the notice so that he will not accuse COA of not doing its job.

Tan said that as part of their policy, COA does not issue notices while a report is being made.

“Everyone who will be found to have participated in a particular transaction which turned out to be questionable will be sent the notice of disallowance,” she said.

Tan also informed Estrada the COA was get hold of documents with his signature, on which it based its report that the senator had dealings with the questionable NGOs.

Among the documents were project proposals, memorandums of agreement, requests for the release of fund to the NGO, letters endorsing the NGOs, lists of beneficiaries, work and financial plans, monitoring reports, certificates of project completion and disbursement reports.

Tan said the papers were either signed by senators or their representatives.

But Estrada said legislators should not be blamed for the questionable transactions involving their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) because the implementing agencies were in charge of the projects.

He said legislators did not touch their pork barrel because the money is released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the implementing agencies.

“Assuming that we repeatedly endorsed this particular NGO, the implementing agency should have called the attention of the legislator once they found out that there is something wrong,” he added.

Tan told the senator the COA had statements from officials of the implementing agencies that they were merely following what the legislators wanted.

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4 Comments

  1. COA is to be blame. bakit nila hinayaan na ganito kong ang systema d puyde ang ganito d manlang nag bigay ng notice this could be liable for corruption bcuz NGO’s are doubtful bago I release ang pera. sa lahat ng pumapasok ng dokumento sa kanila cguro scrutinize muna d ba bago nila pirmahan to release is ok. ang interpretasyon ko dito kong ok ang NGO’s ok sa COA.

  2. Bonifacio B. Claudio on

    “… COA had statements from officials of the implementing agencies that they were merely following what the legislators wanted.” So the legislators & COA are actually saying in their declarations that the vicious cycle seems to be “legislators, pork, DBM, implementing agencies, NGOs, pork chops, legislators”… I think no less than Pres. BS Aquino once said” SAAN N’YO PINAGKUKUKUHA ANG KAPAL NG MUKHA N’YO?” Nonetheless, I stand to be corrected, so to speak… Let’s pray to God this is not so…

  3. Mr. Jingoy Estrada, with due respect to you and the rests of your colleague in same predicament, and the rest of us who are watching and most Filipinos believe that you guys, had planned these well, therefore you know exactly what you are doing. Just wait for the upcoming hearing and see what happens. In the mean time, ask forgiveness for what you have done wrong, because we are all sinners. God knows everything, if you believe in Him, do the right thing, may God guide you along the way, be the best person that you can be for Him, for what good is it to amass more money but lose your soul? May God have mercy on you all.

  4. antonio arboleda on

    ang babaw naman ni Senator estrada.. the resposibilty on this PDAF will always rest on the shoulder of those who authorized the release..That is the senators and congresman themselves..Hindi puwedeng ipasa ang responsibilidad dahil nahuli ka..