Palace condoles with family of auditor who died after DOH report

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2021 02:50 PM

Commission on Audit, Quezon City.
Commission on Audit, Quezon City. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Malacañang on Thursday commiserated with the family of the government auditor who died after his team flagged deficiencies in the health department's use of P67 billion in pandemic funds—a report that President Rodrigo Duterte recently criticized. 

"Dahil tayo po ay mga Pilipino (because we are Filipinos), we, of course, condole with the family and the friends of the late COA auditor," said Palace spokesman Harry Roque. 

Jake Cimafranca led the Commission on Audit team, which said the health department's management of funds led to "missed opportunities" to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Cimafranca, who is also a lawyer, died of heart attack last Aug. 4. 

The report of Cimafranca's team was released on Aug. 11. 

 

Duterte, in a national address last Monday, said it was "pure bullshit" to assume that the Department of Health pocketed the flagged funds. He also asked COA, an independent constitutional body, to refrain from publicizing its audit reports. 

 

"We condole with the [Cimafranca] family. And in any way that we can help, please let us know," Roque said in a press briefing. 

Earlier this week, he said all investigations on the DOH's fund use can continue, despite Duterte's tirades against the audit report. 

The DOH has denied corruption allegations, and said the COA-flagged amount was fully accounted for

The agency also said it is nearing completion of documents in response to state auditors, but there were still units in the department which have yet to complete required papers. 

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