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Probe COA too–Gonzalez


Some members of the Commission on Audit (COA) could be entangled in the corruption scandal Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia is caught in, Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez said on Friday.

“I don’t believe that anomalies can be committed without the COA people being part of it, because the COA inspects when there is a project,” Gon­zalez said.

“You cannot turn over a project without the approval of the COA. It’s the COA that supervises if the program of work is correct and whether the materials are there,” he added.

Gonzalez said that as a congressman, he saw to it that the projects funded by his pork barrel were correct and in accordance with specifications.

He pointed out that the same duty and diligence should have been done by the COA in protecting the interest of the government in the conduct of bidding in the Armed Forces.

“Auditors are there to check on the program of work, in the same manner there is always an engineer from public works who supervises,” he said.

“When the AFP makes bidding, that should be checked by the COA. They don’t just leave it to the soldiers,” Gonzalez said.

Asked if the COA should also be investigated, Gonzalez balked, saying he was just talking about it because “I know by experience.”

He said the COA itself could check its ranks starting from the resident auditor.

Garcia is under investigation for ill-gotten wealth. As AFP comptroller, he had direct control over disbursements of funds and approval of bidding, logistics and projects.


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