FILE PHOTO: Former Department of Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre
MANILA, Philippines – Former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II denied any involvement in the alleged anomalous transactions at the Department of Justice (DOJ) discovered recently by the Commission on Audit (COA.)
“I have no participation whatsoever in the transactions subject matter of the Annual Audit Report released by the Commission on Audit (COA). No signature was ever required of the undersigned in connection with the said transactions,” Aguire said in a statement referring to the COA report released on Friday, May 25.
Aguirre was referring to COA’s claim in its 2017 report which mentioned three unauthorized accounts to where government funds and unreleased salaries should “park” which existed during his time as justice secretary.
COA flagged the Department of Justice (DOJ) transactions with the Land Bank of the Philippines as “unauthorized” because the law requires all unused public money should have been deposited in the Bureau of the Treasury.
The transferred unliquidated funds reached P65.68 million, based on the COA report.
Aguirre argued that financial transactions in the DOJ were “handled primarily by the Financial Service” and that there was also “an Assistant Secretary and Undersecretary for Finance” to deal with the matter. He, however, shared that his staff explained that the transfer of funds aimed to “ensure that there will be no case that payment of salaries will be delayed.”
He continued “that during the last quarter of the year, when all the cash requirement of the Department is already addressed and settled, all the unutilized NCAs are reverted to the National Treasury.”
Aguirre said he was assured by the officials of the Department that “they would comply with the COA recommendation to stop this practice.”
Meanwhile, the former Justice secretary lambasted the media for reporting that the money was allegedly transferred to some beneficiaries.
Aguiree said, “It appears that the COA requires the submission of the document entitled Payroll Register” which is available at the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and serves as “the basis for crediting of the amounts to officials and employees.” – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue