2 auditors overstayed in ISAFP for 17 years

By David Dizon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 18 2011 04:09 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2011 06:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Two of the longest staying state auditors in the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) stayed a total of 17 years before being reshuffled, violating a Commission on Audit (COA) memorandum that auditors must stay a maximum of 3 years in a unit.

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Teofisto "TG" Guingona III made this discovery Friday during the resumption of the upper chamber's inquiry on military corruption.

According to ISAFP, the longest staying auditor in their unit was Divina Cabrera. She stayed with ISAFP for 13 years, from 1991 to 2005, before she was transferred to the Philippine Navy.

The second longest staying ISAFP auditor is Raul Flores Jr., who is allegedly the son of former COA commissioner Raul Flores.

Former military budget officer George Rabusa earlier accused Cabrera and the older Flores of receiving a cut from "converted" military funds of the ISAFP.

He said Cabrera received 2% of ISAFP intelligence funds and once even asked Rabusa to burn documents that could potentially incriminate her.

On the other hand, he said COA commissioner Raul Flores was Cabrera's "handler" who regularly received bribes from the Office of the Military Comptroller.

For his part, ex-COA Chairman Celso Gangan admitted that Cabrera's lengthy stay violated an internal COA memo that mandates the reshuffling of internal auditors every 3 years.

However, he washed his hands of the oversight and blamed regional directors for failing to implement the reshuffle of some 5,000 unit auditors.

"I admit that I did not see that. It was not negligence. There are many duties of the commission that are delegated to the unit heads. Some are delegated to the supervisors, some to the regional directors, some to the central office director. As a chairman, you don't have to go to detail," he said.

Former state auditor Heidi Mendoza, however, said it was impossible for top COA leadership not to know that some auditors were already overstaying.

"An ordinary auditor is also asking why some auditors are given juicy positions while others are given dry positions... It is impossible to have 9,000 to 11,000 people and not notice overstaying auditors," she said.

She added that one COA employee was even dubbed "Wonder Woman" because people were wondering how she was able to stay at a juicy position for 18 years.