Recalling her father’s tenure as vice president of the Philippines, Senator Nancy Binay said on Friday, August 27, that President Duterte would not need to scrutinize the reports of the Commission on Audit (COA) if he gets elected to the post next year.
The senator, daughter of former Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, said she doubts that the vice president has such powers over the constitutional body.
“Coming from experience, as a daughter of a former vice president, I don’t think function ng vice president, hindi kasama sa powers and function ng vice president ang mag-audit (auditing is part of a vice president’s fuctions and powers),” Binay said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
“That power was given specifically to COA. Kaya kahit vice president na siya I don’t think he can do that na siya mismo ang mag-audit (So even if he becomes vice president, I don’t think he can do that he would do the audit himself),” she opined.
While admitting that she, too, initially asked who checks the COA, Binay said she was assured that state auditors also conduct self-audit and even flag their own transactions.
President Duterte earlier confirmed his plan to run for vice president in the 2022 elections.
Before this, Duterte said he wanted to seek the post to get immunity from lawsuits after his term ends next year. But legal experts, including Justice Sec Menrdo Guevarra, said a vice president is not immune from charges.
Still, Binay said she also understands Duterte for railing against the COA, as reports from the same agency had also been used to against them to “ruin [her] family”.
To recall, the COA had issued notices of disallowances to the Makati City government for the controversial construction of the P2.29-billion city hall parking building initiated by former vice president Jejomar Binay when he was mayor.
The ex-vice president and his son, former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, are facing graft and falsification charges before the Sandiganbayan due to the building mess.
“I think it’s high time for us to review the system that is being used by COA, dahil mayroon naman talaga silang audit findings na hindi na timely (because they indeed have audit findings that are not anymore timely)…It doesn’t go with the times anymore,” the senator said, specifically citing the need for digitalization.
“There’s really a need to update COA,” she added.