|(front row, from left) COA Commissioner Heidi L. Mendoza, Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman, COA Commissioner Jose A. Fabia and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III at the Commission on Appointments (CA) on June 11, 2014. (back row, from left) Western Samar 1st District Rep. Mel Senen S. Sarmiento, Isabela 1st District Rep. Rodolfo T. Albano III, Cagayan De Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez, CA Chairman Senator Franklin M. Drilon and Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje.|
The ad interim appointments of Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioners Heidi L. Mendoza and Jose A. Fabia were confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) on June 11, 2014.
Commissioner Mendoza’s appointment was confirmed only a few minutes before the start of the plenary session. In his endorsement to the plenary, Constitutional Commissions and Offices Committee Chair Senator Teofisto Guingona III said Commissioner Mendoza is a familiar brave figure in congressional hearings and exposés on controversies involving embezzlement of government funds.
“She does not back down in ferreting out the truth surrounding anomalies even confronting powers-that-be amid threats to her life and her family,” Sen. Guingona said.
Commissioner Mendoza was subjected to another round of questioning by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada during the committee session but she stood her ground and defended COA’s audit reports. The Commissioner shook hands with Sen. Estrada after her confirmation.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Fabia’s first day of appearance before the CA was without any opposition from the committee members. The committee was impressed with innovations he introduced during his stint as Assistant Secretary of Legal Affairs of the Department of Health, founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Director-General of the Philippine Information Agency.
Sen. Guingona recommended Commissioner Fabia’s confirmation barely an hour after the committee hearing commenced. “Certainly he is proficient in the proper accounting and proper auditing of government funds,” Sen. Guingona said in his endorsement to the plenary.
Commissioner Mendoza’s term will end on February 2, 2018 while Commissioner Fabia’s term will expire on February 2, 2020. # - Jeff Leguiab