Duterte to audit COA as VP? Robredo says not among office mandates

MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday laughed off President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that he would “audit the whole government” should he become the next vice president.

Robredo, who is a lawyer like Duterte, said this is not a mandate of the Office of the Vice President.

“Wala, wala yun sa mandato natin. Ang mandato ng VP, succession lang. Creative lang kami kaya meron kaming anti-poverty program, meron kaming programa ngayong COVID, pero ‘yung pag-audit nakalagay ‘yan sa isang constitutional body… para may independence. Hindi napapakialaman ng ibang branches ng government,” Robredo said during her weekly radio show.

(It’s not among our mandates. The mandate of the VP is only succession. We’re just creative that’s why we have an anti-poverty program, a pandemic program, but auditing is under a constitutional body…so that there’s independence. So other government branches cannot tamper.)

Robredo stressed that anti-corruption efforts must begin with the Office of the President.

“Ang pinaka importanteng office- at least mabawasan ang korupsyon— ay Office of the President. Kung naalala natin kay PNoy (President Benigno Aquino III) noon, ang daming in-introduce para mabawasan ang korupsyon. ‘Di completely nawala pero at least yung sistema, in place. Ang daming ginawa para mabawasan ito,” she said.

(The most important office to lessen corruption is the Office of the President. If we can recall under PNoy’s administration, many measures were introduced to lessen corruption. It wasn’t removed completely but at least the system’s in place. Many things were done to lessen corruption.)

Robredo said there were ways for the Duterte administration to prove that it was for “anti-corruption,” among of these is the release of the President’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, and the COA reports, which the President recently heavily criticized.

“’Yung COA audit report ng mga opisina. Pagpapakita ‘yun na sumusunod tayo sa lahat ng patakaran,” she said.

(COA audit reports on government offices show that we follow protocols.)

Congressional probes are also important to unveil corrupt practices, as it has done so in the past, Robredo added as the President urged the public not to believe in graft investigations by lawmakers.

“Yung Congress kasi… mayroon talaga silang oversight function— to make sure na maayos ang pag-implement ng mga batas na isinulong nila. Kung ‘di sila ginagamit sa pang-aabuso, very helpful ito. Pero nakita naman natin na ang daming katiwalian sa pamahalaan na lumabas na dahil sa mga congressional inquiry na ito,” she said.

(Congress…has an oversight function–to ensure the proper implementation of the laws they passed. If it’s not used for abuse, it’s very helpful. We can see that many irregularities in government was discovered through these congressional inquiries.)

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