MALACAÑANG yesterday defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to local officials to defy “stupid” Commission on Audit (COA) circulars and even joking that the state auditor in Ilocos Norte should be pushed down the stairs so that he would not be able to report on the local government’s transactions.
Duterte made the remark after Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos claimed during a briefing that COA does not allow cash advances for the purchase of building materials.
The President claimed that COA has not contributed to the national development and that its circulars that cover government transactions are meaningless because these are not “law.” “’Yang circular na ‘yan, pakialam ko diyan. Make it a law. I don’t give a shi* on a circular,” Duterte said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the remark was made to address COA’s numerous requirements.
“Ang konteksto po niyan ay maraming limitasyon pagdating sa delivery ng humanitarian assistance in times of crisis. Ang sinasabi ng Presidente, considering post-audit naman ang COA, hayaan na muna ang pangangailangan ng taumbayan, saka na muna ‘yang addressin ‘yang mga napakaraming requirements ng COA,” Roque said in a press briefing in Benguet.
Roque added that Duterte just wanted to ensure that government processes will not hinder efforts to assist typhoon-hit areas.