Jinggoy rejects COA chief's bid for SC post

Posted at 03/20/14 6:03 PM

MANILA - Senator Jinggoy Estrada said Commission on Audit chair Grace Pulido Tan is not qualified to be appointed associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Reacting to reports that Tan has been nominated to fill an impending vacancy in the high court, Estrada said, "I think she lacks experience. Nag-litigate na ba siya? Was she active when she passed the bar? Palagay ko panay corporate work siya e. Nothing personal."

Estrada has openly criticized the COA chief after the agency released a report showing several lawmakers allocating billions of pesos in pork barrel funds to fake non-government organizations of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

Estrada, along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla Jr., are currently facing plunder, bribery and malversation raps for their alleged links to the pork barrel scam.

Estrada earlier grilled Tan on the increase in the agency's travel budget as well as the purchase of cars supposedly using the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

He also asked why the agency is asking for a P10 million increase in COA's travel budget, from P78 million in 2013 to P88 million in 2014.

Tan, however, said the fund is used for the field work of COA auditors all over the country.

She said Estrada also asked her earlier to appoint a COA auditor of his choice at the Manila City Hall. The mayor of Manila is Estrada's father, former President Joseph Estrada.

She also revealed that someone from Estrada's camp called her up before the release of the COA report and asked that she not mention Estrada by name.