In her two-page letter to Vice Mayor Luis P. Malaluan, City Auditor Marlyn Apilla said it is the policy of the Commission on Audit (COA) not to divulge premature audit reports in legislative sessions, management meetings and conferences.
“It is a time-honored policy of the commission to position itself and any of its representatives against certain occasions involving purely management affairs and activities,” she wrote.
But Aspilla assured the SP that her office welcomes any official query in writing pertaining to the calamity fund, including its legal basis and current guidelines.
“At this point in time of the audit period, official query in writing could be the only process that would help us ensure that dispositions and opinions on the matter or decisions and actions both of COA and the legislative/management are placed in the proper perspectives.” she said.
City councilor Rosalio Bombeo, committee chair on Agriculture had earlier requested the Sangguniang Panlungsod to invite Aspilla to determine the legality of the disbursement of the calamity fund.
Bombeo said the SP did not authorize Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco to disburse the money for the calamity brought about by rat infestations and floods.
But Mayor Gantuangco quickly replied there was no need to ask the SP because the latter had already declared the entire province under a state of calamity.
Gantuangco said the amount was used to buy, among others, insecticides and pesticides for farmers’ assistance especially those severely affected by rat infestations and floods.
Records of the City Agriculture Office (CAO) showed that 26 out of 40 barangays in the city were affected by the calamity a few months ago.