Palace to ask COA about Capitol-Ayala deal-A A +A
Thursday, April 19, 2012
PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Malacañang will verify with the Commission on Audit (COA) about the status of the contract for the purchase and lease by the Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) of the 7.7-hectare prime property of the Provincial Government.
Lacierda, in an interaction with the media Wednesday night with deputy spokesperson Abegail Valte, confirmed that Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. personally brought up the matter with them.
"Governor Marañon is very passionate about the matter and I told him that we will ask COA about it," Lacierda said.
He also bared that he was informed that COA chair Grace Pulido-Tan had inhibited herself in the en banc deliberation of the Capitol-ALI deal after questions were raised about the impartiality on the issue.
Reports have it that the law firm of Tan's husband provides legal services to SM.
Lacierda though admitted that Malacañang cannot impose on COA as based on the 1987 Constitution, the commission an independent and distinct body like the Commission on Elections and the Civil Service Commission.
The governor said that under the law, COA should have acted on the contract within 60 days after the office received it.
The contract was submitted to COA central office in July 2011.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 19, 2012.