Malacañang on Monday distanced itself from a report that some of its allies in Congress are having difficulty liquidating their multimillion expenditures for their individual offices.
Outgoing Sen. Panfilo Lacson earlier said that, the Commission on Audit (COA) is still waiting for the liquidation of certain lawmakers, including those who challenged former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to order a full audit and even a private audit of funds for the agency’s year-end report.
In a press conference, Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that the Executive respects the fiscal autonomy of the Senate and it is not in the position to dictate on its co-equal branch.
“You know that if we here at [Alam ninyo ‘pag kami sa] Executive branch, COA has concern about us [may concern ang COA sa amin], we don’t ask the Senate to say: Will the Senate support this thing? In the same manner—that these senators, they are elected at large by the people, they know what [their]responsibilities are,” he said
“So we don’t need to tell them what to do. Far be it for the Executive branch to comment on what they should do. The senators themselves are people who know what their responsibilities and obligations,” Lacierda added.
Catherine S. Valente