Grace Pulido-Tan and her Commission on Audit (CoA), which is supposed to be an independent constitutional body, appear to have become yet another willing adjunct of Malacañang and the Liberal Party (LP).
They may deny it all they can, but any which way it is cut, the fact remains that the CoA report was released selectively, and to a yellow media conduit, precisely to make at least two political personalities, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senate Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada look guilty of having diverted their pork barrel funds.
CoA chairman Pulido-Tan has clarified that it was not the senators who were being probed for their use of the pork barrel funds, but the bogus non-governmental organization.
That still, however, does not explain the fact that the specific selective CoA report landed in the hands of the yellow media, especially when the CoA chairman claimed that all of the pork barrel funds of all the senators, for the years 2008 to 2010, would undergo a special audit.
Any which way it is cut, as stated earlier, that CoA report was selectively released, which is really foul play on the part of the CoA, which had gotten its orders from the Malacanang tenant. Who else but the power in the Palace can get the CoA to do as he pleases?
Enrile was being much too diplomatic in his statement when he said that “the CoA which is a constitutional body must not allow itself to be used by anybody to achieve political or partisan ends by allowing a piece-meal or selective disclosure of parts of its report, if indeed it has completed its special audit. It must explain the parameters and the scope of its audit and, in all fairness, point out the parties responsible for any shenanigans in the use of public funds without fear or favor.”
Enrile and Estrada are not stupid nor politically naive not to realize that they were being targeted by the Palace and its LP rhough CoA’s selective release to the yellow media, knowing full well that the pro-Noynoy media were certain to spin it to the advantage of Noynoy’s LP.
Pulido-Tan will hardly be able to explain, credibly, how that particular audit report found its way to the yellow media, and still claim that it was not meant to achieve political or partisan ends.
The CoA report was released and only to the yellow media. Why? It is usual for the CoA to, at the very least, first provide the Senate, along with the House of Representatives, its complete special audit of all the members’ pork barrel after which, if that new adjunct of Malacañang was truly independent and transparent, CoA would have uploaded that report on its Web site, for the general public’s information.
This is just simple courtesy on the part of the CoA. After all, CoA couldn’t have done such an audit had the Congress leaders not given their go signal for CoA to come up with that audit.
But no. What CoA did was to release a report selectively and leaked it, knowing just how this would be spun by the Noynoy media.
The media couldn’t have gotten that report without the complicity of the CoA, that is for certain.
Why Enrile and Estrada in particular? Why not release the audit on Noynoy’s pork barrel too? He was after all, a senator then. Why not Sen. Frank Drilon? Or Alan Cayetano or Antonio Trillanes or Manny Villar or Chiz Escudero or Loren Legarda?
For that matter, why just Rene Velarde of the party-list Buhay? Why not the other LP attack dogs?
But even now, as president, the CoA has not released its 2010-2011 audit findings on Noynoy’s office.
His presidential social funds are in the billions, yet one still has to hear which social programs he has funded from this fund.
It can be claimed that this does not undergo audit. Neither did the Senate funds, yet the Senate gave the CoA the go-signal for an audit. The Senate under Enrile was being transparent, not so Noynoy — at all, yet it is he who keeps on claiming that his is a transparent government.
Jinggoy Estrada has called for a full dress probe on this pork barrel diversion to a bogus NGO.
That probe should include the CoA, its chairman and her commissioners, for leaking out that report and for being selective in their release of the special audit.
It’s time CoA, as well as other so-called independent constitutional commissions are exposed for what they are: total adjuncts of the Malacañang power.