The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said on Friday it has been investigating about five of its officials who were allegedly involved in the over P38-million "deficient" disbursements for the ASEAN Summit, which the Philippines hosted last year.
PCOO Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Marvin Gatpayat refused to name the executives who are being investigated.
"It's under investigation. To avoid any trial by publicity, we will just announce their names at the proper time," he told reporters.
PCOO said two deputy officials were tasked to handle some of the activities during the ASEAN.
The Commission on Audit, in its 2017 audit, found the alleged anomalous contracts that the PCOO entered into during the ASEAN Summit in the country.
Gatpayat said the PCOO has answered the COA report.
"We explained to them the reasons behind the actions because they were saying that we did this splitting, that we favored some suppliers. So we answered it one by one, the concerned officials answered it and submitted their answers to COA," he said.
He said PCOO would be willing to file charges if evidence would support it to individuals who would be found liable for the alleged irregularities.
"The investigation will be made public. The COA has option to have it investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman. But definitely, we will conduct our investigation and penalize people who violated any government laws," Gatpayat added.
In its 2017 audit, COA questioned some PCOO purchases of goods and services as well as rental of IT equipment during the country's hosting of the 2017 ASEAN Summit.
It noted that the PCOO engaged in splitting purchase orders, depriving the department to take advantage of possible bulk discounts if the procurement were done through public bidding. Celerina Monte/DMS