By Rjay Zuriaga Castor


Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday schooled President Rodrigo Duterte on his remark to “audit the whole government” should he become the next vice president, clarifying that the second-highest executive official has no power to audit government agencies. 

Robredo, who is a lawyer like Duterte, said that no such function for the vice president was stated in the Constitution.

“Wala, wala yun sa mandato natin. Ang mandato ng VP, succession lang. Creative lang kami kaya meron kaming anti-poverty program, meron kaming programa ngayong COVID," she said during her weekly radio show.

"’Yung pag-audit nakalagay 'yan sa isang constitutional body… para may independence. Hindi napapakialaman ng ibang branches ng government,” she added. 

According to the 1987 Constitution, the vice president is "mandated to assume the presidency in case of the death, disability, or resignation of the incumbent President." 

Aside from assuming the position of the president if the office becomes vacant, the vice president can be a member of the president’s Cabinet without confirmation from the Commission on Appointments, and can also serve as an executive committee member in the National Security Council. 

Duterte in his pre-recorded public address that ended Friday past midnight, August 27, bared that he would launch an examination into the finances of the Commission on Audit (COA) if elected as vice president in the 2022 polls. 

His tirade to audit the state agencies came after COA flagged multibillion-peso deficiencies in the financial management of different government units. 

In the same bid, Robredo reiterated that instead of running after the state auditors, there are other ways the Duterte administration can show its commitment to the anti-corruption campaign. 

Robredo underscored the need to be transparent about one’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN), a document Duterte has refused to make public since 2018. 

“Iyong SALN, isa iyon sa napakalaking dahilan para ipakita mo na bukas iyong lahat ng information tungkol sa akin na pagpapakita na walang korapsyon,” Robredo said.

“Iyong COA audit report ng mga opisina, ano iyon pagpapakita iyon na sumusunod tayo sa lahat ng patakaran. Assessment iyon ng COA na walang corruption na nangyayari,” she added.

Report source: CNN Philippines