Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Thursday, Sept. 9, said the Commission on Audit (COA) can conduct an audit of the subsidy or equity the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) receives from the government like those given by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
In a reply to a query posed by journalists covering the Department of Justice (DOJ), Guevarra said:
“Under the Constitution the COA has the power to examine on a post-audit basis all accounts pertaining to the expenditure or use of fund by any non-governmental entity receiving SUBSIDY or EQUITY, directly or indirectly, from or through the government. The Philippine Red Cross is one such entity receiving subsidy or equity from the government through the instrumentality of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.”
With his statement, Guevarra affirmed Malacanang’s position that the COA can conduct a special audit of the PRC which is chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon.
The issue of the special audit was raised following the verbal tussle between President Duterte and Gordon.
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee headed by Gordon is currently inquiring into the government’s billions of pesos worth of contract with a pharmaceutical company, Pharmally.
The contract was signed by Duterte’s fraternity brother, former Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS) head Christopher Lloyd Lao.