MANILA, Philippines - Anti-corruption groups are challenging President Benigno Aquino III to appoint a new head for the Commission on Audit (COA).
They said the agency plays an important role in monitoring government funds and exposing anomalies such as those discovered by former COA auditor Heidi Mendoza.
“It's a crucial agency,” said Tony La Viña. dean of the Ateneo School of Government.
They also called on COA chairperson Reynaldo Villar to quit his job amid allegations that COA officials had roles in the corruption scandal in the Armed Forces.
Villar, however, said he will not resign, and insisted that his term will only end in 2015.
He rejected assertions that his term ended last February 2.
Villar said he was a given a fresh 7-year term when he replaced Guillermo Carague in 2008.
He believes that the period does not include his term as commissioner that began in 2004.
La Viña, however, thinks otherwise.
“Mali ang kanyang interpretasyon at dapat na siyang magbitiw,” he said.
Mendoza earlier accused some COA officials of receiving bribes to keep silent on illegal transactions in the Armed Forces.
She added that some COA officials failed to support her probe into missing military funds worth hundreds of millions of pesos during the time of former Armed Forces comptroller Carlos Garcia.
Mendoza, meanwhile, said she does not know anything about another alleged P300-million anomaly in the Armed Forces that was recently revealed by retired Commodore Rex Robles.
She urged Robles to reveal what he knows. – Report from Ces Oreña-Drilon, ABS-CBN News; ANC