President Duterte has linked two former Cabinet members of the previous Aquino administration to Commission on Audit (COA)-themed irregularities.
In his “Talk to the People” public briefing on late Tuesday night, Aug. 24, Duterte identified former Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary, detained Senator Leila de Lima and former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Mar Roxas as having huge amounts of unliquidated cash advances from their respective former agencies.
“Itong COA ba, sa previous administration, may audit findings sila (COA had audit findings during the previous administration),” Duterte said, even as he continued to defend incumbent Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III from alleged controversies stemming from state auditors’ 2020 audit report.
“Mayroon dito agency (We have an agency here), DOJ, under Secretary Leila de Lima, unliquidated [P617.44] million worth of cash advance in the year 2013. Itong kay Duque, bibili. Itong kay De Lima, nag-cash advance ng P617.44 million, unliquidated (Duque’s case was about purchasing. On the other hand, De Lima made a cash advance of P617.44 million and it was unliquidated),” he said.
“Nakulong na lang ang g*g*, hindi niya ma-account itong ano…tapos sabi nila, nag-press release, na na-liquidate na raw (She was jailed and still wasn’t able to account for it…and now they’re saying in a press release that they’ve liquidated it),” Duterte said, sounding unimpressed.
The chief executive then turned his sights on Roxas—one of the candidates he beat for the presidency in 2016.
“DILG, unliquidated P7 billion worth of fund transfers to various projects implemented under the term of former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas as of December 31, 2014,” he said, reading from a piece of paper.
Dutere said that the “receivables accumulated to a huge amount” because “management failed to monitor the liquidation of the fund transfers and the submission of the corresponding financial report”.
“Ito, unliquidated cash advances, ito perang kinuha talaga (These are unliquidated cash advances, these are money that were clearly taken),” he added.
“Ngayon si De Lima maingay. Sige nga mag-ingay ka nga ngayon (De Lima is the one who is making noise. Go ahead and make noise now),” Duterte further said.