Newly appointed Chairperson Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan and Commissioner
Heidi Mendoza were warmly received by the CoA community when they heard Mass at its main office in Quezon City.
COA officials and employees have previously aired misgivings over
the controversy-laden entry of the two fresh members of the commission.
The objection against Pulido-Tan, who vowed transparency and openness
as twin main policies she will push, was centered on her being an “outsider”.
The Philippine Government Audit Service Employees Association (PHILGASEA)
has withdrawn its objection against Tan but appealed to the president to "pick among CoA officials” when he appoints
new officials next time.
On the other hand, Mendoza apologized to those who were hurt by
pronouncements aired in the Senate hearings in connection with alleged corruption in the Commission.
Mendoza, the whistleblower in the AFP fund scam, was previously
a state auditor who resigned in disgust over alleged refusal of her seniors to support her findings on alleged anomalies in
the handling of military funds.
Pulido-Tan and Mendoza are set to formally start with their new
jobs on Monday, with the former vowing to start work by meeting Commissioners Juanito Espino Jr. and Mendoza to start discussing
their plan of action.
“Overstaying auditors ang lumulutang na priority. Matagal
na tinitingnan natin iyong napakadaming conflict sa area na ito,” said Pulido Tan when asked what her priority concern
Pulido-Tan said she has gathered than a number of auditors have
remained in their post for over the usual three year tour of duty.
Referring to graft and malversation cases filed before the Sandiganbayan,
Pulido-Tan said a mechanism for the review of audit recommendations and follow up of their proposed action to government agencies
will also form part of the priority.
The former finance undersecretary stressed that while many graft
charges are based on audit findings made by CoA, the filing of charges and implementation of administration action is vested
on the concerned agency.
“Testigo lamang ang CoA. Hindi siya ang naghahabla,”
PUlido-Tan stressed. (CoA is just a witness. It is not its duty to file charges.)
Asked if she received any “marching orders” from Aquino,
the new CoA chief said she has yet to meet Aquino since the president surprised her by announcing her appointment to the state
“It’s a good thing we didn’t (meet). CoA does
not take marching orders from anyone,” Pulido-Tan said as she stressed that the agency is an independent constitutional