THE camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday accused the Commission on Audit (COA) of being part of a “demolition job” against the opposition bet, saying state auditors may face violations for doing so.
In a statement, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) president Tobias Tiangco deplored reports, apparently based on data provided by COA, claiming that the Vice President will face charges once he steps down from office over the Makati City Building 2 project.
Tiangco claimed that COA may have allowed a “special demolition team” of auditors to attack Binay.
“We have received information that a PR consultant working for the Ombudsman provided copies of the COA report to select reporters. To this we ask, why, if the case against us is strong, would there be any need for underhanded tactics?” he said.
“This project has passed 11 regular audits. It is very clear that a special audit team was created for the ‘special’ purpose of being used as a demolition team against VP [Vice President] Binay,” Tiangco noted.
At the same time, lawyers for the Binays said the COA and the Office of the Ombudsman may be “shooting at their own foot” for showing bias against the Vice President.
Claro Certeza, lawyer for dismissed Makati City Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay, said COA, like the Ombudsman, is clearly biased against the Binays and has overstepped its mandate.
“If this is true, COA is clearly biased as it has no authority to determine who is guilty of a crime. Its mandate is merely to audit government expenditures and to determine if the same are allowable,” Certeza added.
The Binay camp spokesman, Rico Quicho, said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales “is shooting herself in the foot” because she issued a resolution that the Vice President is an impeachable officer.
“Saan po kayo nakakita, only in the Philippines, na sinabi na nga hong hindi pupwedeng kasuhan e inilalabas naman ho sa media. Ano ho ba yun, inuuna nila yung presentation ng kanilang kaso sa media bago ho sa korte? E contemptuous ho yun [Only in the Philippines would you see that they have said that a complaint cannot be filed but they bring this out in the media. What is that, they first present their case to the media before the court? That is contemptuous],” Quicho said in a radio interview.
Tiangco said the commission could be held liable for violating COA Resolution No. 2015-033 dated September 29, 2015 that prohibits the conduct of special audit against candidates in the 2016 elections.
The resolution stated that no fraud or special audits should be done between October 12, 2015 and May 9, 2016.
“As UNA president, I wrote COA to request them to abide by their own rules. I asked that they should apply the resolution equally to all candidates even those from the opposition,” Tiangco said.
The Office of the Ombudsman also on Thursday said it is yet to receive COA’s special audit report on the Makati City Hall Building 2.
“As of the moment, the office is still waiting for the transmittal of the COA report,” Acting Director Rawnsle Lopez of the Ombudsman’s Public Information and Media Relations Bureau said.
“The office will thoroughly study the COA findings before issuing any further statement,” Lopez added.
With REINA TOLENTINO