Duterte backs Imee, assails COA circulars

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 17 2018 05:13 AM | Updated as of Sep 17 2018 11:10 AM

Duterte backs Imee, assails COA circulars 1
President Rodrigo Duterte. Karl Norman Alonzo, Malacañang Photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday slammed the Commission on Audit (COA) over its prohibition on some government spending.

The president even went as far as to say that a COA employee should be pushed down the stairs.

"Sino taga COA dito? Ihulog muna sa hagdanan para hindi maka-report," he said during an interagency briefing of Typhoon Ompong in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

Duterte made the remark after Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos claimed that COA does not allow cash advances for the purchase of building materials intended for disaster victims.

"Maniwala ka niyang COA na 'yan. You know, you just do it by circular and then they expect everybody to obey. Mga circular, pakialam ko?" he said.

Sitting beside the president, Marcos clapped and said, "Yes, yes, yes."

The issue came up when the governor said they are only allowed by COA to request cash advances for food up to P15,000.

"Lahat hindi puwedeng i-cash advance and this occurred over the weekend, which made things more difficult sir," she said.

During the briefing, Duterte further criticized the circulars released by the state audit agency.

"Some guys in the government went to jail based on a circular, and other guys went scot-free because of the same circular. Ganun ka cockeyed. Depende nalang saan nila eh whether they swing the legal arguments," he said.

The president said the circulars are useless unless they are made into law.

"Kaya nga circular lang 'yan eh. Make it a law or a regulation, but don't gave me that s*** of circular," he said.

Ompong, described by forecasters as the strongest storm to hit Philippines this year, smashed through northern Luzon on Friday.

Damage in Ilocos Norte, records from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council showed, was pegged at P2.3 billion.

The loss in agriculture was valued at P1.9 billion, while damage in infrastructure has exceeded more than P440 million.