Duterte warns cutting ties with PRC if it refuses to be audited by COA
President Rodrigo Duterte warned he will cut government ties with Philippine Red Cross (PRC) if it will not open its financial record to the scrutiny of the Commission on Audit (COA).
"In the coming days, I will write you a letter to open up your records because I will also request (COA chairman Michael) Aguinaldo, and I am sure he knows his business, that there is money in the Red Cross belonging to the government which he has to look into," Duterte said in his taped Talk to The People aired on Saturday morning.
"If you do not like it, I will be forced to totally disassociate with you. I will stop the government, the national government and all, from having transactions with you in any manner. I don't care. I will not give money to you," he said.
"As far as I’m concerned, the Red Cross does not exist. And you can create a controversy there or a crisis. I do not mind because, I said, I am on the right track. Either you submit to an auditing procedure or we quarrel. If we quarrel, do your worst because I will do mine," he added.
Duterte reiterated that the PRC should submit an annual report to his office as the organization is accountable to the government.
"The Red Cross must submit to the President an annual report. Since then, I haven't received (a report). I'm here for six year Mr. Senator (Richard) Gordon (PRC chairman)," he said.
"Why would you say now that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines cannot conduct an audit of the Red Cross because it is totally independent? If it is totally independent, you are correct. But it is not totally independent because you have been receiving aid, financial aid from the Republic of the Philippines. And you even get money from the PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office)," Duterte said.
"Now, any money belonging to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines given to an agency, whatever be the nature, if you are operating here and you receive the money and spend it, you are accountable to the government and therefore an audit is in order," he added. Robina Asido/DMS