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Prominent private sector organizations belonging mostly to business and academic groups have signed a manifesto in support to the Commission on Audit (COA), which has been on the receiving end of President Rodrigo Duterte latest diatribes, for its audit report on the Department of Health.

“In these crisis times, we should be unwavering in supporting our government agencies tasked to protect our country from graft and corruption, which will aggravate the current pandemic-driven situation of widespread hunger, unemployment, uncertainty and undue hardship and suffering of our people,” the group stated.

The statement underscored the independence of COA as mandated by the Constitution, on its exercise of examining government transactions and publishing its findings.

“Our Constitution … imposes upon the Commission the constitutional duty to submit an annual report” on its findings and other reports as may be required b law. It is also required by law to publish its reports, consistent with the constitutional right of our people to information on matters of public concern, and be protected from inappropriate and unlawful use of public funds and property,” it stated.

Among those who signed the statement were: American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AMCHAM), Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Naga University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Chamber of Thrift Banks, Filipina CEO Circle, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (Finex), Financial Executives Institute of Cebu Inc. (Finex Cebu), Finex Academy, Finex Research and Development Foundation, Inc., Fintech Alliance PH, Guild of Real Estate Entrepreneurs and Professionals (Greenpro), Institute of Solidarity in Asia Inc (ISA), Integrity Initiative, Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines (IPAP), Investment House Association of the Philippines (IHAP), Judicial Reform Initiative (JRI), Licensing Executives Society Philippines (LESP), Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE), Procurement and Supply Institute of Asia (PASIA), Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines (SHAREPHIL), Subdivision and Housing Developers’ Association Inc. (SHDA), Tax Management Association of the Philippines and Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan de Oro.