President Benigno S. Aquino III and nine others, including Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan, were recognized outstanding exemplars who have made significant marks in society by noted media group Bulong Pulungan during its annual Christmas party held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza on December 3, 2013.

The Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel organizers noted COA Chairperson Pulido Tan for her “courage, integrity and sheer grit in pursuing the path to justice, despite the many obstacles and personalities standing in the way” and for “daring to break gender stereotypes with a firm, uncompromising stance and steely determination to pursue wrong doers.”

The media group observed that the COA Chairperson made Filipinos “believe that there is still a ‘daang matuwid’ provided we all pull together and keep our sights on the bigger goal of good governance and public accountability.” 

“Holding public officials accountable for every peso spent by the government is part of the mandate to safeguard government resources. We need to break from the confines of our comfort zones and be willing to take positions and the risks that go with them,” said Chairperson Pulido Tan.

Other honorees were Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr., Gawad Kalinga (GK) founder Antonio Meloto, GK volunteer Dr. Jerome Rodriguez-Paler, Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Government Service Insurance System President and General Manager Robert Vergara, and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.