Binay camp sets record straight with COA months ago.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) has clarified as early as last June the observations made by the Commission on Audit (COA) contained in its 2014 audit findings released recently.
This was stressed by the camp of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, the opposition presidential candidate in the 2016 national elections, after news reports came out Saturday that the OVP made a mistake in awarding nearly P95 million in food relief contracts to a Makati City supplier that had no business permit.
In a statement, the OVP said its tapping of the services of the supplier was due to its "good record in completing deliveries of relief goods."
The OVP said its main concern was ensuring the quick delivery of relief goods to calamity victims.
"We were more concerned about the timely delivery and availability of the goods in the calamity areas without prejudice to pricing which is advantageous to the government," Assistant Secretary Rosalie Licauco said in a letter to State Auditor Marife Tubana dated June 22, 2014.
Binay, the 73-year-old United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) party standard-bearer, has deeply rooted ties to Makati, where he served as mayor for over two decades. His son, Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay, even became his successor in 2010.
Licauco further explained that the OVP has ordinarily contacted previous suppliers to supply basic commodities such as canned goods, noodles, and biscuits, as part of its relief operations for areas struck by calamity.
Meanwhile, rice requirement is procured from the National Food Authority (NFA).
"Since our primary supplier is located within Luzon areas only, requirement for Visayas and Mindanao, if not available from local suppliers within the area of calamity, were mostly procured from the supplier in question," she said.
"It has the capability of serving large quantity of goods and delivered the same immediately and directly to the calamity areas which were mostly far-flung provinces," the letter further said.