The Quezon City government took a swipe at Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor over accusation of corruption involving COVID-19 procurements worth P479 million.
“The recent allegations propounded by Anak Kalusugan party-list Mike Defensor against the Quezon City local government have ‘laughably and woefully backfired,’” spokesperson Pia Morato said.
Defensor earlier released a statement to media claiming that the Commission on Audit was “questioning the validity of the city’s P479 million worth of pandemic procurements,” even accusing the “city government violated the Procurement Law and its implementing regulations.”
He even asserted that his allegation was “based on a recent COA report,” and “went as far as saying that the document was newly posted on the COA website,” according to Morato.
“No such ‘new report’ was posted on the COA website, however. In fact, Defensor’s allegations were based on a report posted on the COA website last July 2021, as a partial section of QC’s year-end audit report for the year 2020,” Morato said.
“The good congressman should definitely hire better researchers and a better PR team. When they sent their statement to the media, the reporters and editors checked the validity of their claims. They found out that the tidbits shared by the Defensor camp were part of the
year-end COA report wherein Quezon City was actually awarded with the highest audit rating in the history of the city.
If the intention was to tarnish the reputation of the QC LGU, therefore, the complete opposite happened,” she stressed.
According to Morato, Defensor’s allegations were “referenced in only three out of the 42 pages of the full COA report. Furthermore, rather than ‘questioning the validity” of the P479 million worth of pandemic procurements,’ the COA merely pointed out that the complete documentation for these procurements had yet to be submitted during the time of the report’s writing. No violations were cited, as the section was written as a request rather than a reprimand,” she said.
“Within a matter of weeks, the QC local government unit submitted all the supporting documents pertaining to this P479 million. The COA was so satisfied with our paperwork and transparency that they gave us the highest unqualified opinion for the entire year,” she added.
“Cong. Defensor has spent a lot of time in the past two years staying indoors, so he might be a bit confused. It’s 2022 already, let’s not invent things from references that happened last 2020,” she further stated.