The Supreme Court en banc through the ruling penned down by Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno dismissed the petition filed by Gualberto Dela Llana, a taxpayer, to invalidate the circular of the Commission on Audit, Circular No. 89-299.
The COA Circular No. 89-299 lifted the pre-audit of the financial transactions of national government agencies and government-owned or controlled corporations.
Based on the petition filed by Dela Llana, he argued that the pre-auditing of the government transactions by the Commission on Audit could not be lifted because it is the mandate of the 1987 Constitution citing the Section 2, Article IX-D of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
But the Supreme Court said that the said provision does not require the Commission on Audit (COA) pre-auditing of government transactions, and that only the Section 1, Paragraph 1 has the clear reference to the “pre-audit which provides that post-audit is mandated for certain government or private entities with state subsidy or equity and only when the internal control system of an audited entity is inadequate.”
COA Circular on Pre-Audit History
- On October 26, 1982, COA issued the Circular No. 82-195 which lifted up the pre-audit of government financial transactions.
- During the 1986 EDSA revolution, the COA issued Circular No. 86-1982 which restored the pre-audit in certain government transactions.
- In 1989, COA issued Circular No. 89-299 which lifted the pre-audit of government financial transactions.
- On Feb. 17, 1994, the COA issued Circular No. 94-006 and on May 18, 1995 issued Circular No. 95-006 on May 18, 1995, which clarified and expanded the total removal of pre-audit activities on all financial transactions of NGAs, GOCCs, and local government units (LGUs).
About Gualberto Dela Llana
In the petition filed against the lifting of the pre-audit on government transactions through the circular issued by the Commission on Audit, the petitioner has been introduced as a tax payer. The Supreme Court however recognized the right of Dela Llana as tax payer to file the case since “he would be affected by the illegal use of the public money.
In a simple research about Gualberto Dela Llana, I found a person with the same name who is said to be the presiding judge of the city of Olongapo as one of the petitioner who filed a case at the Supreme Court against MANUEL ALBA, Minister of Budget, FRANCISCO TANTUICO, Chairman, Commission on Audit, and RICARDO PUNO, Minister of Justice, as stated in the Supreme Court G.R. L-57883 March 12, 1982. He was also the petitioner who filed a case at the Supreme Court against the Commission on Elections, the Commission on Audit, the Secretary of Finance and the Budget Commissioner as recorded at the Supreme Court G.R. No. L-47245 dated, December 9, 1977.
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