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Palace: Red Cross failed to report finances to President as required by law

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Malacañang said Tuesday that the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) failed in its mandate to report its financial status to President Rodrigo Duterte as Honorary President of the PRC.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement a day after he said that the President wanted government funds paid to PRC audited by the Commission on Audit (COA).

"Para sa kaalaman ng lahat, simula 2016 ay wala pong sinumite ang PRC sa Presidente ng Pilipinas na annual report na naglaman ng kanilang mga gawain at nagpakita ng kanilang financial condition tulad ng pinag-uutos ng RA 10072," Roque said.

(For everyone's information, since 2016, PRC did not submit its annual report that contains their activities and shows their financial condition, as ordered in RA 10072.)

Roque said the requirement to report the financial standing is provided under the Philippine Red Cross law, which states that the PRC, “at the end of every calendar year, submit to the President of the Philippines an annual report containing its activities and showing its financial condition."

Likewise, Roque reiterated that COA had limited jurisdiction to audit funds received by the PRC, given that the PRC entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Metro Manila mayors and state insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corporation for the payment of RT-PCR COVID-19 tests.

Roque then cited Article 9 of the Constitution which states that COA "shall have the power to examine on a post-audit basis all accounts pertaining to the expenditure or uses of funds by such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity, directly or indirectly from or through the government.”

President Duterte had lashed out at PRC chairperson Richard Gordon amid a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee probe on the government's pandemic supply purchases worth at least P8 billion. The supplies were bought from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.

Senator Gordon chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

During a Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, RTVM footage showing Chinese businessman Michael Yang and President Duterte meeting with Pharmally officials was played.

Yang was a former presidential adviser on economic affairs.

Later, Senator Risa Hontiveros, citing records from Taiwan's Ministry of Justice website, said that Pharmally'schairman Huang Wen Lie, also known as Tony Huang, was wanted for securities fraud, stock manipulation, and embezzlement.

The same website also lists Huang's son, Huang Tzu Yen who sits as incorporator of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. and Pharmally Biological Inc., as also wanted for stock manipulation. — DVM, GMA News

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