Duterte orders DOH to answer COA report on alleged P67.32b fund misuse on COVID-19 response
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Health to answer the report of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the alleged deficiency in the management of P67.32 billion funds for COVID-19 response.
"The instruction of the President is to answer the observation of COA. The COA is a constitutional body that monitors the national treasury. So it is important to answer the COA observation,"
The President is withholding judgment until after the DOH were able to submit their comment on what they called an exit conference and for the COA to make their final report," he added.
Roque said as a lawyer Duterte knows "not all the allegations or observation" of COA "is sustained after the agency provided its response".
"Let us wait for the answer of the President. The President is keen to read the answers because the observation of COA is quite serious," he said.
"What the President wants to happen is, we alloted billions of pesos for our COVID response and he is expecting that all of these will be used for the benefit of our people, let wait for the answer of the DOH," he added.
Roque said that "there is no sacred cow in the administration but he expressed hope that the DOH will be given enough time to answer the COA report.
"I hope DOH will furnish the President with their responses. Well, the president was a former mayor and a lawyer, he knows how to evaluate such an answer but like I said... this is COA observation, a constitutional body formed precisely to submit these kinds of observations. So, it's quite serious. I hope the DOH will be given enough time to answer these observations," he said.
Roque also expressed confidence that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III will answer the COA report, "we will wait for the answer before we will give our position," he said. Robina Asido/DMS