President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said there is a “legal basis” to request the Commission on Audit (COA) to look into the financial records of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
“When I asked for an audit of Philippine Red Cross by COA, it is with legal basis,” Duterte said during his prerecorded Talk to the People on Monday night.
Duterte said it was clearly stated in the Constitution and under Republic Act 10072 or the Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009.
“I need to order an investigation of Red Cross for a host of reasons, the first thing is about the money,” he said partly in Filipino.
Citing the mandated law, Duterte said the PRC is required to submit its annual financial report to the Office of the President.
“The Constitution itself requires bidding for every centavo that goes into the private hands for the purpose of charity,” he said.
Duterte said the PRC is a “very laudable entity.”
“We are not attacking the Philippine Red Cross. We just would like to know if the resources of the government have given to it – is well manage,” he said.
Duterte has already instructed the Solicitor General to write to COA Chairman Michael Aguinaldo requesting to conduct an audit over PRC’s financial status.
Duterte said he also wants to see transparency from Senator Richard Gordon’s handling of the PRC.
“You want transparency in the transactions that’s why you’re dwelling on Pharmally? In the same manner, we get also to see if there is transparency in the Red Cross under you and you yourself in connection with the Red Cross functions,” he said.
Gordon chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that is looking into the alleged overpriced contracts of the government’s procurement of Covid-19 supplies at the onset of the pandemic last year.