Vice-president Jejomar Binay’s camp most recently dismissed claims by the Office of the Ombudsman that the opposition’s presidential candidate called “somebody” from the Commission on Audit (COA), and asked that the audit report on the Makati Parking building 2 be delayed until after the elections.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales had earlier accused Binay of pressuring COA so it won’t issue its report on the controversial building until after elections.
“What the Ombudsman was saying was not true,” said lawyer Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesperson for political affairs, as he blasted the Office of the Ombudsman for resorting to diversionary tactics.
He took to task the Ombudsman for not answering questions on the oppressive moves they were doing against Binay, who leads the opposition in the coming May elections.
Binay, who is tied in the number one spot with Senator Grace Poe in the latest Pulse Asia survey, is running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Quicho said it was clear that UNA president and Navotas Rep.Toby Tiangco wrote COA only to remind them of their earlier resolution, indicating they cannot conduct a special audit against election candidates to avoid harassment, now being done by the Ombudsman against Binay.
Secondly, he said the letter did not only pertain to Binay but to all the candidates running under UNA who are continuously experiencing fears and harassment from their opponents in different areas in the country.
“It is clear that the Office of the Ombudsman has been pressuring COA to issue the report, which was being prohibited in a COA resolution,” said Tiangco.
He also denied speculations that Binay was afraid of the report since it would adversely affect his chances for presidency.
“We believe in a fair and just process. The Vice-president would prevail in all these lies,” he said further.
Morales made the assertion after UNA president Toby Tiangco claimed the anti-graft agency pressured COA into transmitting an incomplete audit report.
“We have been informed that the Ombudsman has been personally calling up COA officials telling them to transmit to her office its special audit report on Makati Building 2 even if the report does not include the replies or comments of City Hall officials,” said Tiangco.
“In so doing, the Ombudsman wants COA to effectively discard the findings of 11 audits, including one conducted by technical specialists, which concluded there was no overpricing and that the said project complied with COA regulations,” he added.
“It will also be in direct contravention of COA resolution 2015-033 dated Sept 29, 2015 prohibiting the conduct of special audit against candidates of the 2016 elections,” Tiangco said.
Citing COA insiders, Tiangco said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales personally called up a ranking COA official prior to her trip abroad demanding that the audit report should be released immediately.
Tiangco said these acts confirms UNA’s claim that Morales has displayed blatant partiality when handling complaints involving the Vice-president and members of his family.
“The Ombudsman represents an administration that has a track record of flaunting the law and the Constitution in bringing down its political enemies while ignoring, aiding and abetting unlawful acts of its partymates and allies,” he said.
Tiangco said he is no longer surprised that the Ombudsman is intent on releasing the incomplete report, which will be used to file plunder charges against Binay after his term and his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay.
“While there is no justification or excuse for behavior like this, its no longer surprising. The Ombudsman is always in haste if (cases) involved Binay and his family although it violation of the law,” said Tiangco.
“In stark contrast, the COA and Ombudsman are pussyfooting on its reports on the PDAF [Priority Development Assistance Fund] and DAP [Disbursement Acceleration Program]. Until now, COA has yet to release its complete PDAF audit covering the Aquino administration,” he added.
“The Ombudsman, on the other hand, is sitting on its hand and has failed to even consider taking action against those involved in the DAP scandal which has been declared unlawful and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,” he further said.
Thirty-eight members of the Liberal Party were implicated in the PDAF scam.
He noted That COA has yet to finish its report on PDAF since many administrations were involved.
In the case of DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program), where the Supreme Court already made a ruling of bad faith on the part of Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Tiangco said there is no COA referral to the Ombudsman.
“These moves of the Ombudsman are no longer surprising. It’s quite obvious they were involved in destroying Vice-president Binay to stop him from doing programs for the poor and others he is set to implement.
Binay filed a PH 200million-peso damage suit against Morales and 12 others for repeatedly spreading allegations of plunder, graft and corruption, and other illegal activities against him based on unverified and even fabricated sources. (MCA)