All COA observations under De Lima settled: lawyer

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 26 2021 06:07 PM

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MANILA – Detained Senator Leila De Lima is confident that all audit observations during her stint as Justice secretary were settled and closed, her lawyer Atty. Bonifacio Tacardon said Thursday.

“Senator de Lima is honest enough to say that she can no longer recall the details of this supposed audit observations. But one thing is sure. One thing shes’s confident about is the fact that whatever audit observations brought to her attention during that time were properly answered, cleared, and complied with,” he told ANC’s Dateline Philippines.

Tacardon noted that in the years following De Lima’s term, no cases were filed against her. 

“Despite the audit observations raised in 2013, she never publicly castigated the COA, neither did she cry over national TV. Instead, she made sure that she would go out of her way to correct all the observations noted by COA and complied with the COA recommendations,” the lawyer said.

His comments come after President Rodrigo Duterte briefly talked about corruption allegations in the Department of Justice (DOJ), then headed by De Lima, under the Aquino administration. 

De Lima slammed Duterte’s tirades as a mere act of "misdirecting" the health department's deficiencies flagged by COA.

"For someone who cannot even publicly disclose and release his own SALN, Duterte's accusation against me and Sec. Mar Roxas regarding COA's past reports on our agencies is just plain rich in irony and hypocrisy," De Lima said.

A staunch critic of the Duterte administration, De Lima marked her fourth year in detention in February this year. She called the illegal drugs cases against her political persecution.