Former CoA auditor testifies on Garcia’s case

Former CoA auditor testifies on Garcia’s case

Heidi Mendoza resigned as government auditor from the Commission on Audit (CoA) in 2006.

She however stood firm on her conviction when called to testify that she had a tight case against a former military comptroller whom she had investigated back then for alleged corruption.

Mendoza was called by the justice committee of the House of Representatives Tuesday to narrate her work on the investigation involving millions of pesos allegedly siphoned off by General Carlos Garcia from the military coffers.

Mendoza said she started the audit work as a head of an 11-person team in support of the investigation of the Office of the Ombudsman, which was then headed by Simeon Marcelo. After Marcelo resigned, Mendoza said then CoA chairman Guillermo Carague did not ask her anymore to write a report of her audit findings.

Mendoza said she worked on the case together with several prosecutors, including Special Prosecutor Joseph Capistrano. They were so confident that they had a tight case against Garcia that they even made a vow to walk naked from the Sandiganbayan office to Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City if the case was dismissed.

The justice committee is looking into the plea bargain agreement inked between government prosecutors and Garcia, which will reduce the offense of the former comptroller from plunder to direct bribery.