Heidi Mendoza begs CA: Give me a chance

Posted at 03/04/14 2:33 PM

MANILA - Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi Mendoza again failed to win an endorsement from a committee that deliberated on her ad interim appointment.

Members of the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Offices under the Commission on Appointments agreed to postpone the deliberations to allow Senator Jinggoy Estrada to pose questions to Mendoza in the next hearing.

Estrada did not attend Tuesday’s deliberations.

Mendoza again was made to answer allegations made by Arturo Besana who questioned Mendoza’s integrity and honesty.

She also addressed the opposition of lawyers of former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay over Mendoza’s role in the audit findings that led to a complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman for the alleged overpricing of a hospital equipment purchased by the city government in 2001.

The complaint has been dismissed but was reportedly revived recently by the Ombudsman.

The lawyers who are opposing Mendoza’s appointment include Mariano Sarmiento, Sandra Marie Olaso-Coronel, and Felicitas Aquino-Arroyo, wife of former Senator Joker Arroyo.

Mendoza said she was merely doing her job and had nothing to do with the prosecution of the case.

Mendoza appealed to the committee members to give her a chance, having been previously bypassed by the CA.

“I am begging before this committee,” Mendoza told the committee, admitting that she envied other officials who have breezed through the CA hearings and have won confirmation.

“Pabalik-balik po ako dito. Nanonood ng naco-confirm, at talaga pong ako ay inggit na inggit. Talaga pong nakakainggit, alam n’yo po iyon? Pero parati rin po akong nagbibigay sa sarili ko ng pagkakataon na alam ko po na darating ang panahon may mga malilinaw ang isipan at darating din po ang panahon na bubuksan ang katotohanan. Dahil hindi po ako nagsinungaling, hindi po ako nagnakaw, hindi rin po ako nakasuhan.”

“Ang akin pong tanging kasalanan, nanindigan po ako na mag-file ng kaso sa isang may ambisyon na maging presidente,” she added, referring to the case against Mrs. Binay, wife of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

“Kung kaya po ngayon ay paulit-ulit ang ating talakayang ito. Gumagalang po ako nang lubos at nakikiusap, nasagot ko na po ang mga accusations nila noong December pa po. So kung maaari po lamang, na sana po bigyan niyo po ako ng pagkakataon.”

She refuted questions about her competence, saying that the COA reports that she was involved in contained no error and that these have been used as basis in cases filed in court.

“This is not something that I desire. This is something that I have to do because I am honest and because I live the concept of integrity,” she said.

Meantime, the committee has recommended the confirmation of the ad interim appointments of Comelec Commissioners Louie Tito Guia and Al Parreño.

Their appointments would be tackled in a plenary session of the CA en banc Wednesday afternoon.