Palace praises JPE for allowing Senate audit
MANILA - The Palace commended Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile for reportedly agreeing to open the Senate's books and have a private firm audit its finances.
"It's commendable that the Senate President has already said that he supports any auditing on the MOOE [Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses]. If the Senate President feels that he is not against it, then certainly we hope that the Senate will protect the institution--the reputation of the institution, the integrity of the institution, and vote on the proposal of the Senate President," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
"The position taken by this government is for transparency and accountability. Now, the focus is on the Senate and I think it behooves on the Senate to heed the people's call for transparency given the situation right now where the imbroglio between the Senate President and Senator [Alan Peter] Cayetano has been the subject of intense discussions within the Senate floor."
The Palace, however, declined to comment on the personal nature of the spat between Enrile and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.
Cayetano on Wednesday again pushed for an independent audit of the Senate's funds after the older Enrile confirmed giving additional P1.6 million to 18 senators but only P250,000 to 4 others last December. He also chided Enrile's chief of staff, Gigi Reyes, for calling Enrile's critics hypocrites after they refused to return cash gifts given by the Senate President.
Enrile, meanwhile, claimed that Cayetano's father, the late Sen. Renato "Compañero" Cayetano, still owes him P37 million that he failed to pay when they were still in the same law firm.