Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has expressed confidence that the Commission on Audit (COA) would know what to do with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) “debacle”.
This, as President Duterte continued to unleash tirades against PRC chairman, Senator Richard Gordon during the former’s bi-weekly public addresses.
“We are confident that the COA knows its job and that unfortunately, the PRC is not cognizant of the constitutional provision that all public funds should be subjected to audit by COA,” Roque said in a virtual press briefing on Thursday, Sept. 16.
Roque was referring to Article 9 of the 1987 Constitution, which Duterte expounded on last week.
The Chief Executive has said that the PRC receives money from both the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Duterte said this makes the PRC eligible government audit, despite it being a private entity. Gordon previously claimed that PRC cannot be audited.
In the same presser, Roque backed the President’s move of coursing the order for COA to audit PRC via Solicitor General Jose Calida .
“According to the administrative code, the OSG (Office of the Solicitor General) is the legal counsel of the Republic,” the spokesperson noted.
Before this, Roque said the Palace was going to make a formal request for COA to audit PRC on the basis of public funds that the latter has been receiving.
Duterte has also said that it would be a dereliction of duty on the part of COA Chairman Michael Aguinaldo if the agency doesn’t audit PRC.
To find out how Duterte’s beef with Gordon began, click here.