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COA clears House of Representatives

Manila Standard

After trolls flooded social media with hypocritical demands for accountability, the Commission on Audit reports the House of Representatives has had a commendable track record from 2017 to 2022.

“For CY 2022 and prior years, no Notice of Suspension, Notice of Disallowance, and Notice of Charge was issued,” according to the independent audit commission, noting Congress’ financial transactions were in order, and there were no instances of irregularities or discrepancies that would warrant said notices.

The digital trolls were led by the former President himself, repeatedly challenging Congress to open its books for a public audit.

A thorough COA audit of Congress is what the former President has been demanding in his TV program and social media channels since he resurrected himself to defend his daughter’s insistence to get hundreds of millions of pesos in confidential and intelligence funds.

Incidentally, it’s quite obvious that no media organization, except for the former president’s crony broadcasting firm, has been airing his barely lucid rants.

Remember that COA is an independent constitutional body with the primary function to examine, audit, and settle all accounts and expenditures of the funds and properties of the Philippine government.

Just as an auditing company is to private corporations, COA serves as a crucial check against graft and corruption, excesses and abuses.

In its report, COA in fact cited the House of Representatives for its timely remittance in 2021 and 2022 of employees’ contributions to the GSIS, Pag-Ibig Fund, and PhilHeath.

“For CY 2022, aside from the proper maintenance of existing structures for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, the HREP has undertaken improvements to make them more comfortable,” COA also said.

Furthermore, the COA report dispels allegations about the misuse of Extraordinary and Miscellaneous Expenses.

The agency clarified the EME is part of the HREP’s regular budget and undergoes full auditing.

The EME for 2022 amounted to P4.98 billion, lower than the P5.67 billion in 2020. These funds cover a spectrum of activities, such as meetings and educational events.

For the first three quarters of 2023, state auditors also gave the HREP impressive passing marks, with no derogatory findings on its financial reports.

These COA clearances should serve as a lesson to the former President who is known to have built his presidential campaign and administration on absolute untruths, incomplete sentences and brazen threats:

You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time.

But you can never fool all of the people all of the time.

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