MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Davao City accountant Rizalina Justol as the new chairman of the Commission on Audit (COA), Malacañang announced on Friday, February 18.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said that the President signed Justol’s appointment on Thursday, February 17. “We wish chairperson Justol’s success in COA and assure her that government will always be supportive of COA’s efforts to ensure transparency and accountability on the use of government funds,” he said.
Justol succeeded Michael Aguinaldo who ended his term as COA chief on February 2. Before becoming COA chief, Justol had served as Deputy Executive Secretary for Finance and Administration under the Office of the President.
In 2010, Justol faced malversation charges, along with Duterte, for allegedly misusing some P2.93 billion in public funds from 2003 to 2006. According to an ABS-CBN news report, complainant Pedro Domingo cited COA reports stating that there were unaccounted city government properties amounting to P291.65 million in 2003, P280.63 million in 2004, P462.79 million in 2005, and P2.93 billion in 2006.
In a separate complaint, Domingo also accused Duterte and other city school board officials of unlawful use of Special Education Funds amounting to P11.5 million which was spent on the program called “Pahalipay ni Mayor” in 2005.
Asked for comment on Justol’s malversation raps, Nograles said: “All appointed officials are appointed based on experience, credentials, achievements, accomplishments. Secondly, for positions like COA chair and many high positions, apart from the appointment ay dadaan parin naman ng proseso ng confirmation (they will still undergo confirmation process).” – Rappler.com