By Raïssa Robles
Writing directly to the Cyber Plaza Miranda community, Philippine state auditor Heidi Mendoza said she will continue to be a government witness in the cases against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his wife Elenita.
This is for “as long as I will receive the subpoena on time and hoping I will have the resources to get by,” Ms. Mendoza said in a comment she posted earlier this afternoon on this blog.
She wrote this in reaction to my post this morning which asked:
What will now happen to Mendoza’s testimony before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan over the alleged rigged bidding of a P72 million furniture purchase by the Vice-President’s wife Elenita Binay while she was still mayor of Makati City? Has Mendoza finished testifying? Can she be available for a cross-examination, if necessary?
Ms. Mendoza thanked Cyber Plaza Miranda (CPM) and expressed the hope that CPM members “will give the same support to my team whom I am leaving behind by November 16.” CPM consists of Filipinos and foreigners across the globe who congregate on this site to argue, quarrel and discuss hot button issues.
Sorry, I was not able to see her comment earlier because I was chasing a deadline.
Just to correct my mistake – for which I apologize – Ms. Mendoza was finally confirmed by the Commission on Appointments in June 2014 after three years of delay and being blocked 14 times. Her appointment had a fixed tenure of up to February 2018.
Those who tried to block her appointment were Senators Vicente Sotto and Jinggoy Estrada and Congressman Luis Villafuerte. They are practically the same lawmakers who had blocked the CA confirmation of Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo until the day he died.
The ruling Liberal Party endorsed her appointment.
When Ms. Mendoza was finally confirmed, the CA posted this description of her on its website:
“In separate committee deliberations, Mendoza finally gained the confidence of the body over her fitness and capacity to perform her duties as audit commissioner for a term expiring on 02 February 2018. Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, head of the Commission’s constitutional commissions and offices committee, described Mendoza as a “familiar brave figure in congressional hearings and exposes on controversies involving the misuse of government funds, who does not back down in ferreting out the truth surrounding anomalies, even confronting powers that be amidst threats to her life and her family.” A former auditor of the COA for 20 years, who gained national attention after her revelations of supposed irregularities in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), she was appointed to the commissioner’s post since March 2011 and got the Commission’s approval after being bypassed 14 times.”
Even after she was confirmed, Vice-President Jejomar Binay’s congresswoman daughter Abigail complained against her saying, “It’s public knowledge she’s out to destroy my family.”
Interaksyon separately reported that a retired COA auditor and a lawyer were among those who had objected to her appointment as COA Commissioner. Arturo Besana, a retired COA auditor, called her “incompetent”, “untruthful” and an “opportunist” because “she is using her position for her own advantage especially in bringing herself to the good graces of [those in] power in this government.”
Besana, who was implicated in the army irregularities but has since been cleared, also criticized her for using her own auditing “style”.
Apparently, though, she was just the kind of auditor the United Nations was looking for.
Here is Ms. Mendoza’s message in full below:
I intend to continue appearing before Sandiganbayan as a government witness as long as I will receive the subpoena on time and hoping I will have the resources to get by. I was informed also that oral deposition could also be possible. Thanks to you and your blog, I hope you will give the same support to my team whom I am leaving behind by Nov 16.
Hmmm. I know someone who will not be jumping with joy over this.