Cayetano to call
for parallel audit with COA of Senate funds
By Office of Sen. Alan Peter
January 26, 2013
PASAY CITY –
Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano bared his plan to file a
resolution to formalize his call for an audit by an independent
But he clarified further
that such an audit could possibly entail: (1) an audit by an
independent firm parallel to Commission of Audit’s (COA) own audit;
(2) a sole audit conducted by a private firm independent of COA; or
(3) an independent people’s audit.
“I just want Senate
President Juan Ponce Enrile to answer two things: (1) How was the
P250,000 liquidated; and (2) From the P2 billion Senate budget, how
much was liquidated by certification alone,” he said.
“What I’m saying is that we
don’t need a professional audit or for every single centavo of the P2
billion Senate budget to be audited. I just want the public to be
given a chance to look into the Senate books and see that we are doing
the right thing and that we have nothing to hide. Whatever kind of
audit that could bring that about is alright with me,” he said.
He dismissed claims that
having such an audit done is not possible under the Constitution.
“There is no Constitutional
or legal impediment to a private audit. I can tell COA that there have
been instances in the past where a private audit was paid by a
government entity and there was no legal impediment,” he said.
The minority leader assured
COA Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan that it was not his intention to cast
doubt on the integrity of the agency. Instead, he wants to ensure that
COA’s integrity is not questioned during the conduct of the audit
since some COA commissioners have yet to be appointed by the
Commission on Appointments (CA), a panel headed by Senator Enrile.
“What I’m asking for is
transparency and accountability. I’d like to let COA know that the
people and the members of the Senate have full trust in you. I’m only
saying that we have nothing to lose but everything to gain if we have
a parallel audit conducted to settle this issue,” he said.
“It doesn’t have to be a
technical, legal audit. Just bring out the documents so that the
people will find out the truth,” he added.
Cayetano also reiterated his
call to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and his fellow senators to
stick to the real issue of transparency in the liquidation and
certification of funds in the Senate and not resort to squid tactics
to divert attention away from the main issue.
“While the arguments
seemingly went to the gutter, let us go back to the real issue that
has everything to do with the integrity and independence of the
Senate,” he said.