Lawmakers want Tan out of COA-A A +A
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
HOUSE independent bloc called for the resignation of the Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan "out of delicadeza" after coming out with a supposed erroneous report on the use of priority development assistance funds (PDAF) from 2007 to 2009.
Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, a close ally of former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leads the independent bloc
"I think the chairperson of COA did a great disservice not only to Way Kurat but the institution of Congress by coming out with raw reports. That is unforgiveable. Out of delicadeza, I think she should resign," Romualdez said in a press conference Tuesday.
Romualdez was referring to the "clerical error" committed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) when it assigned the same special allotment release order (Saro) number for a P3-billion nationwide maintenance project of the Department of Public Works and Highways to a P500,000 multi-purpose building of former Compostella Valley Representative Manuel "Way Kurat" Zamora.
This gave the impression to COA that Way Kurat was given a heavy PDAF allocation during his term as congressman. Each congressman is entitled to a P70-million PDAF annually.
"Doing that to an institution like Congress, she’s made irreparable damage," Romualdez said. "Hindi 'pulido' magtrabaho si chairman."
Surigao del Sur Representative Philip Pichay echoed the sentiment of Romualdez saying that "Congress has been maligned totally" by the allegations made by COA.
"She destroyed the credibility of the person. Those funds are audited. They have to audit it with due diligence," Pichay said.
Incumbent Compostela Valley Representative Ma. Carmen Zamora, the daughter of Way Kurat, said she was "deeply hurt" after her father’s reputation was maligned in the media.
Zamora delivered a privilege speech at the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon blasting COA chairman Tan who she said “made a mistake, so glaring, and so gross” based on unverified records from the DBM.
Meanwhile, Romualdez also asked COA to immediately release its report on its ongoing audit involving the PDAF of congressmen elected from 2010 to the first half of 2013 under the present Aquino administration.
“If anyone is guilty, put them in jail but we should move forward and look at 2010 to 2013,” he said.
Romualdez said President Aquino may have dangled the PDAF to congressmen to pressure them to support the impeachment of resigned Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The lawmaker added the pork barrel may have also been used by the administration to force members of Congress to vote in favor of the enactment of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill, the implementation of which is challenged before the Supreme Court. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)