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Accusing Senator Richard Gordon of using the Red Cross to fund his political campaign, President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants the non-government humanitarian organization to be audited.
In a briefing aired on Thursday, Duterte said he will have the Commission on Audit (COA) look into the finances of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chaired by Gordon whom he accused of milking the organization for the upcoming elections.
“I dare say na ginagamit mo talaga ito para sa elections. Ito ‘yung milking cow mo e,” Duterte told the senator.
"Is the Red Cross saving money so that it would eventually pass a resolution to set aside a big amount to fund your election plans, just like the funds you used in the 2010 and 2016 campaign?" he added.
The president also questioned the alleged plans of the PRC to sell vaccines for P3,500 per shot, P1,000 higher than its actual price.
“The executive department will demand that we be furnished a copy of your audit taken by COA and COA to give us the copy so we can review also what you have audited,” the president said.
COA, an independent constitutional commission, normally audits the accounts and expenditures of government agencies. However, it can conduct special audits for NGOs upon the order of proper authorities.
Meanwhile, PRC, by Republic Act 10072, is declared as the “voluntary, independent and autonomous nongovernmental society auxiliary to the authorities of the Republic of the Philippines in the humanitarian field."
The private organization is mandated to submit to the president its annual report which includes its activities and financial condition every year.