COA has sole power
to audit Senate – Chiz
By Office of Senator Chiz
January 31, 2013
DAVAO CITY – The Senate
should respect the Constitution’s designation of the Commission on
Audit (COA) as the sole body to review government finances including
that of the Senate, Sen. Chiz Escudero told Davao newsmen.
Escudero voiced the position
amid Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano’s proposal for a parallel audit of
Senate funds to be conducted by COA and a private auditing firm.
Cayetano’s proposal was an
offshoot of allegations on Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s
supposed misuse of Senate funds when he distributed additional
maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) allowances for
senators prior to the Christmas holiday break in the Senate.
Escudero said, however, that
a clear accounting of the funds given to senators should be made
instead of the current practice in the Senate of liquidation by
“I'm in favor of COA opening
all the books of the Senate but not the proposal to have a private
firm doing an audit. There are legal considerations that should be
followed,” Escudero said.
The constitution provides
that COA will have sole authority in auditing government funds and
senators cannot order COA, an independent constitutional body, to
audit specific funds.
The COA is similar to the
Commission on Elections and the Civil Service Commission which cannot
be dictated on by members of the Senate on the actions that it can